Latest! Beijing Raises Emergency Response Level

Latest! Beijing Raises Emergency Response Level

Beijing on Tuesday raised its public health emergency response from the third to the second level due to a new cluster of local COVID-19 infections, and the number of confirmed local COVID-19 cases in the city passed 100 over the past five days, a senior official announced.

Chen Bei, deputy secretary-general of the Beijing municipal government, said at a news conference that people shouldn't leave Beijing when it's not a must.

All the new local cases are related to a Xinfadi wholesale market. The cluster of local infections is believed to be human-to-human transmission and originally caused by contaminated objects, Chen said.

Shi Guoqing, deputy director of the emergency center under the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said the novel coronavirus was found on chopping boards for salmon at a Xinfadi wholesale market and wasn't discovered before the salmon entered the contamination venue in the market.

Beijing's education authority announced on Tuesday night that all students in primary, junior high and senior high school should stop on campus classes starting on Wednesday and college students should stop returning to campus.

Beijing announced several measures under the second level of the public health emergency response.

Citizens from Beijing's middle and high-risk areas, as well as the ones related to Xinfadi, shouldnt leave Beijing. The others shouldn't leave the city when it's not necessary. Those who must leave the city should havea negative nucleic acid test within seven days.

All exhibitions, sports events and shows will be stopped and tourist services to other provinces and overseas are suspended.

"Beijing is facing a very serious epidemic situation," Xu Hejian, a spokesman for the municipal government, said at a news conference on COVID-19 on Tuesday.

Shandong, Zhejiang, Sichuan, Liaoning, Heilongjiang and Fujian provinces and Shanghai have introduced a range of quarantine measures for travelers from Beijing.

▲ Photo by Chen Zhonghao/Xinhua

On Monday night, the Beijing municipal government asked several departments to jointly disinfect all farm produce markets and restaurants that have resumed service.By 6 am on Tuesday, Beijing had disinfected 276 farm produce markets and closed 11 markets, according to Chen Yankai, deputy director of the municipal market supervision bureau.

Residential communities have restarted strict measures such as temperature-taking before entering.

The city government will roll out sweeping nucleic acid tests for residents living near a produce market in Xicheng district, after a market employee was confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 on Sunday.

▲ Photo by Chen Zhonghao/Xinhua

Michael Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization Health Emergencies Program, said on Monday at a news conference in Geneva that the WHO is working "very closely with authorities in China to understand what exactly the risks are here and will issue any guidance internationally accordingly".

Source:Xinhua contributed to this story.


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