Beijing Coronavirus Outbreak Caused by Heavily Contaminated Sea Food and Meat in Wet Market

COVID-19 contaminations were found in the Xinfadi wet food market. image credit : WTS

Chinese state officials looking for the cause of the new outbreak have found sections of meat and seafood in Beijing’s wholesale food market to be severely contaminated with the new coronavirus, state media has reported.

Agents suspect the area’s low temperature and high humidity may have been contributing factors, their preliminary report comes as the country’s capital tackles a resurgence of Covid-19 cases over the past week linked to the massive Xinfadi food centre, which houses warehouses and trading halls in an area the size of nearly 160 football pitches.

Beijing reported 21 new cases of Covid-19, down slightly from the 31 reported on Wednesday, and there were two additional cases in Hebei province that were also linked to the Beijing cluster.

The city on Thursday ordered all hotels to be shut down, as well as restaurants in high-risk areas. Officials said Beijing was not under lockdown but urged all residents not to travel or gather unnecessarily, and pledged to ensure continued food supply.

The latest outbreak infected more than 100 people and raised fears of wider contagion in China. On Saturday, it reimposed strict ‘wartime’ measures to prevent a second wave of infections. Residents, taken aback by a partial lockdown in the city, described something akin to deja vu.

The number of cases remains small for a city of 22 million. But authorities are taking few chances: 1,200 flights in and out of Beijing’s two airports were cancelled on Wednesday. Schools closed just a month after reopening. Since Tang’s case was announced, the city claims to have tested more than 3.5 million people.

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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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