Beijing Authorities Step Up to Halt Second Wave of COVID-19 in China
In the wake of fresh coronavirus outbreak in China that confirmed 27 new positive cases on Tuesday, Beijing authorities have imposed additional restrictions to stop the spread in the capital and to other provinces. Outbound travel of high-risk people has been banned along with suspension of some of the transportation services out of the city.
The outbreak has been traced to the sprawling Xinfadi wholesale food centre in the southwest of Beijing where thousands of tonnes of vegetables, fruits and meat change hands each day. Most of the neighbourhoods were marked as medium-risk by Beijing authorities.
To prevent the potential entry of infection, some parts of Beijing including the city’s old-style hutong neighbourhoods were overnight walled up, with entry and exit restricted to a few round-the-clock security checkpoints. Meanwhile, many are hopeful that the capital won’t end up like Wuhan, since the Beijing authorities have quickly opted for epidemic control measures.
In the past, the experts constantly warned against the second-wave of COVID-19 in China as the country resorted to ease off lockdown restrictions. The first wave of infections has globally infected more than 8 million people.
A report shows that the number of infections in China’s current outbreak has raised to 106. Though the restrictions are not similar to the ones imposed during the outbreak in Wuhan, this time it’s more of a wartime mode on a district level. Once again, social distancing measures have been initiated in the capital, schools are closed along with a 24-hour security constant checkpoint in the region.
The citizens are acting cautiously, inhibiting a strong sense of self-protection. The Beijing authorities have also restricted the movement of confirmed cases’ close contacts. The long-distance bus routes between Beijing and nearby Hebei and Shandong provinces and car-hailing services have been suspended on Tuesday.
Once again quarantine requirements on Beijing visitors have been imposed in many parts of China. Shanghai authorities have announced to quarantine all the people visiting for 14 days. In the same context, WHO officials, who are uncertain of the virus’ spread, stated that Beijing authorities’ claim that the virus’ spread by imports or packaging of salmon is not the “primary hypothesis”. Instead, it needs further testing.
WHO’s Emergency Programme Head, Mike Ryan said that the packaging needs to be tested systematically following the new infections. Since, the first wave of COVID-19 has led to global economic losses, the second wave in China is expected to hit its economy twice as compared to other nations. The emergence of new clusters is really a big concern. Hopefully, Beijing authorities with its quick response and protective measures would succeed in curbing the new outbreak.
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