The epidemic situation in Beijing is “extremely serious”, warned a spokesman for city hall on Tuesday, June 16, when about 100 new cases appeared.
Fear of a second wave
Beijing fears a second wave of coronavirus epidemics and is “in a race against time,” the city council spokesperson told reporters. A new outbreak of Covid-19 has entered the Chinese capital. A total of 106 new cases have been reported in the last five days, including 27 new contaminations in the last 24 hours, according to figures released on Tuesday morning. On Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it was monitoring the situation “very closely” and mentioned the possibility of sending more experts in the coming days.
Compulsory tests on the streets
In order to contain the resurgence of the epidemic, the city has begun to close some places. There are currently five markets that are either fully or partially closed, including the huge Xinfadi wholesale market, one of the largest in Asia, where the virus was discovered last week. In total, about 30 residential areas near closed markets were quarantined for 14 days, locking up thousands of inhabitants. All sports and cultural facilities that had just reopened had to close as well. Primary and secondary school pupils may resume their studies, but only from home.
The daily detection capacity of the city was increased to 90,000 people. This policy of mass testing implemented by the authorities partly explains this increase, as the contamination has never been stopped in China. According to the Chinese Internet Information Centre, Beijing tested more than 76,000 people on Sunday alone. From now on, testing on the streets is mandatory, which could lead to an increase in known cases in the coming days.
Two new cases in New Zealand
The coronavirus has also returned to New Zealand. On Tuesday 16 June, two new cases ended 25 days without new infections, the health authorities announced. The two new cases concern two new arrivals from the United Kingdom who, according to the Department of Health, are “related”. The archipelago has recorded 1,154 confirmed cases with 22 deaths on its territory. All national restrictions, including social distancing measures and restrictions on the number of people who can gather, have been lifted without the country being declared free of the virus. However, at present only New Zealand nationals and their families are allowed to enter the country, with some exceptions such as persons for professional or humanitarian reasons, and all must undergo a 14-day stay on arrival in the area.