Covid-19: sharp increase in cases and "extremely serious" situation in Beijing

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31 infections have been identified in Beijing in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of new Covid-19 cases to 137 in six days. The increase worries city officials, who have introduced new measures to limit the spread of the virus.

The situation in Beijing is "extremely serious". This was said by a spokesman for the city council of the Chinese capital. The increase in the number of Covid-19 cases currently registered in the city.

The new outbreak has been identified as the Xinfadi wholesale market in Beijing, one of the largest in Asia. When the first cases were detected in this group, Beijing had not identified new cases of Covid-19 in 50 days.

Massive testing, school closings ... Beijing tightens measures

This increased contamination worries the authorities, who quickly took steps to limit the spread of the virus. Xinfadi's market closed immediately, as did four other markets in the city. The same applies to schools, kindergartens, cultural and sports sites, as well as thirty residential areas of the city. A return to teleworking is also encouraged.

Mass population screening was also introduced: 90,000 tests can be performed daily. Authorities also ask Beijing residents not to leave the city, unless there are compelling reasons and they have tested beforehand. "Anyone who really has to leave Beijing will have to provide a certificate attesting to a negative test carried out in the past seven days," said Chen Bei, deputy secretary-general of the city council. More than a thousand flights have been canceled at the two Beijing airports.

"The origin and scope of the epidemic is under investigation," said the World Health Organization (WHO). Fearing a second wave of the Covid-19 epidemic, the institution said it was monitoring the situation in Beijing "very closely."

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