By Tony Winterburn • 27 December 2020 • 9:56
China Begins Mass Testing In Beijing As 67 New Cases Appear.
China has begun the mass testing of hundreds of people who had visited a Beijing wholesale market which sparked a fresh bout of coronavirus cases as the country reported 67 fresh new COVID-19 infections, including 42 in the capital. In a bid to stem the spread of the contagion, the authorities in Beijing have conducted the nucleic acid test on 29,386 people who had visited the Xinfadi wholesale market, said a spokesman for the Beijing Health Commission.
The market became a hotspot after it reported several new COVID-19 cases. Out of all the samples, 12,973 came negative and the rest are awaiting results, Gao told the media. The National Health Commission (NHC) in its daily report on Monday said that 49 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 18 asymptomatic cases were reported. As of Sunday, Dec. 27, 112 people with asymptomatic symptoms were still under quarantine.
Asymptomatic cases, also known as silent spreaders, are the patients who have tested COVID-19 positive but develop no symptoms such as fever, cough or sore throat. However, they pose a risk of spreading the disease to others. So far, the local government has closed six wholesale markets and made alternate arrangement for vegetable supplies to the retail stores.
Meanwhile, the local government has closed six wholesale markets and made alternate arrangement for vegetable supplies to the retail stores. Yang Peng, a researcher from Beijing CDC, told state-run CCTV that it has been preliminarily determined that the virus found on the samples from the market is related to strains China has seen from imported cases. The genome sequencing showed that the coronavirus came from Europe.
Thousands of overseas Chinese are currently returning with a number of them testing positive for the coronavirus.
A third wave?
The sudden increase in cases has sparked concern that China may be on the cusp of a rebound of COVID-19, a third wave. Experts’ had predicted that a third wave may hit the country during the winter starting from October.
All the hospitals in Beijing have now been ordered to perform nucleic acid and antibody tests, a computed tomography scan and a routine blood test on patients with fever, Gao Xiaojun, spokesperson of Beijing’s health commission told the media on Sunday.
So far, the local government has closed six wholesale markets and made alternate arrangement for vegetable supplies to the retail stores. The Beijing local government earlier said that health workers detected the virus in 40 samples collected at Xinfadi, including from cutting boards used to prepare imported salmon.
Wu Zunyou, the chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, said that the source of the latest outbreak could be either contaminated seafood or meat from the market or a visitor or worker who contracted the virus unknowingly.
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