Beijing's second coronavirus wave puts wet markets back in focus

BeijingEdited By: Palki SharmaUpdated: Jun 19, 2020, 08:17 AM IST


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China has realised that it must improve hygiene in its markets after a repeat of the same mistake in Beijing.

The coronavirus has sent China scrambling yet again. Beijing, the Chinese capital, is battling its second virus outbreak.

This has sent anxious residents flooding to clinics for voluntary tests, putting the healthcare system under massive strain. So far, over 350,000 people have been tested.

For two months, the Chinese capital did not report a single case, and then the city saw a surge of over 150 infections in a week. Most cases are linked to Beijing's huge Xinfadi wholesale food center.

It seems despite repeated and urgent warnings, China has failed to take care of the hygiene in wholesale food markets.

Also Read: China finds heavy coronavirus traces in seafood, meat sections of Beijing food market

The Communist Party’s top disciplinary body has swung into action as they want to avoid the global shame that followed the Wuhan outbreak. In its report, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said, " The epidemic is a mirror that not only reflects the dirty and messy aspects of wholesale markets but also their low-level management conditions."

The first major cluster of infections was traced to the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan through which over 8.4 million people were infected.

China has realised that it must improve hygiene in its markets after a repeat of the same mistake in Beijing. Since May 30, over 200,000 people have visited the Beijing market.

Also Read: Beijing's coronavirus outbreak under control, Chinese expert says

Now, authorities are tracking down all of them. As many as 80,000 test samples were taken in and around the market alone.10 areas in Beijing are under lockdown and in many districts, buildings have been completely sealed.

Travel restrictions have been put in place and residents now require a negative result on a nucleic acid test to travel. But, these measures may have come too late.

Neighbouring provinces -Hebei, Liaoning, Sichuan, and Zhejiang have also reported new cases, all linked to travellers arriving from Beijing.