Is Beijing on its way to become a second Wuhan?

Several districts of the Chinese capital put up security checkpoints, closed schools and tested several people for the coronavirus on Monday after an unexpected spike in coronavirus cases linked to the biggest wholesale food market in Asia.

City's biggest cluster

After nearly two months with no new infections, Beijing officials have reported 106 cases over the past 5 days, the city's biggest cluster of infections since February.

(Photograph:AFP)

'War-time mode'

The return of the coronavirus has hit Beijing, home to the headquarters of many big corporations, in uncertainty at a time when China is trying to shake off the economic torpor caused by the disease.

"The containment efforts have rapidly entered into a war-time mode," senior city government official Xu Ying told a news conference.

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7,200 neighbourhoods affected!

Xu said 7,200 neighbourhoods and nearly 100,000 epidemic-control workers had entered the "battlefield".

The outbreak has been traced to the sprawling Xinfadi market where thousands of tonnes of vegetables, fruits and meat change hands each day.

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Xinfadi market; the epicenter in Beijing

A complex of warehouses and trading halls spanning an area the size of nearly 160 soccer pitches, Xinfadi is more than 20 times larger than the seafood market in the city of Wuhan where the outbreak was first identified.

(Photograph:AFP)

Tough measures in place

The new cases have led to many parts of Beijing to reimpose tough measures to stifle the spread of the virus, including round-the-clock security checkpoints, closing schools and sports venues and reinstating temperature checks at malls, supermarkets and offices.

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'Knock Knock'

Residents were also advised to avoid crowds and gathering in groups for meals. Some districts even sent officials to residential compounds in what they described as a "knock, knock" operation to identify people who had visited Xinfadi.

(Photograph:AFP)

Beijing

China, the country where the first case of coronavirus was reported, reopened its economy in phases. However, new clusters of coronavirus were found in the country in various cities in the last month. 

This was labelled as the second wave, which is now decreasing again. The country is under a partial lockdown in few areas now.

(Photograph:AFP)

All schools shut

Beijing shut all its schools again on Wednesday as the city reported 31 new coronavirus cases, with authorities in the Chinese capital rushing to curb an outbreak linked to a wholesale food market.

All schools, which had mostly reopened, were ordered to close again and return to online classes.

"The epidemic situation in the capital is extremely severe," Beijing city spokesman Xu Hejian warned at a press conference Tuesday.

(Photograph:Twitter)