Virus Outbreak in Beijing Forces Top Leaders to Admit Severity

A recent resurgence of the CCP virus outbreak in Chinas capital has sparked new fears as top leaders warn that a worse situation is yet to come.

Authorities have sealed off all neighborhood compounds as of June 17, after dozens of cases emerged from the sprawling Xinfadi food market. Beijing is now scrambling to control movements in and out of the city, halting trains and canceling nearly 70 percent of flights in its two international airports. All school classes have been suspended.

Beijing officially reported 137 new infections as of Wednesday with a jump of 33 within a 24-hour span. Authorities have underreported numbers before; nonetheless, the cluster outbreak prompted health authorities to conduct mass testing. The increase is especially concerning given that China has taken extraordinary measures to keep the virus out of its political center.

“The virus outbreak in Beijing is still on an upward trend. The risk of virus spreading is significant and controlling it is difficult,” said Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the citys Center for Disease Control and Prevention, at a Wednesday press conference.

The new wave of infections in the past week has prompted Chinese leader Xi Jinping to pronounce virus control the “most important and most pressing task,” according to state media reports of a June 16 political meeting in Beijing.

Noting the sharp increase in cases, Yang Zhanqiu, a professor at the virology laboratory at Wuhan University, suspected that the virus may have reemerged more contagious than in Wuhan. The virus multiplies more quickly in winter weather, and the summer heat should have made it more difficult for the virus to grow, Yang told state media. If the Beijing strain is more contagious, this would present new challenges for creating an effective vaccine, he noted.

Beijings outbreak has spread to at least four other provinces across the country due to peoples traveling, including nearby Hebei, the northeastern province of Liaoning, Sichuan in the southwest, and Zhejiang in Chinas eastern coast. Several other provinces have set restrictions on travelers from Beijing.

City on Edge

The burgeoning contagion, which authorities said emerged from Beijings southern suburb, is forcing locals such as Ms. Chen back to home isolation after weeks of relative relaxation.

“Its so scary,” Chen told The Epoch Times on June 16, adding that residents have been once again required to scan the health code on their phones to enter or leave their housing compound. “I was beginning to think it was almost over, but all of a sudden it tenses up again.”

Beijing Curbs The Second Wave Of COVID-19
Beijing Curbs The Second Wave Of COVID-19
People who have had contact with the Xinfadi Wholesale Market or someone who has, line up for a nucleic acid test for COVID-19 at a testing center on June 17, 2020 in Beijing, China. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Some 356,000 people in Beijing have undergone virus testing. Chen, who lives in Chaoyang district, said she has been ordering most of her food online to avoid going out.

“You dont see many people out on the streets now,” she observed. She has stopped eating raw cucumbers, her summer treat, for fear that it came from the Xinfadi market, which authorities said is the source of the new outbreak. She is also staying away from meat and seafood; Chinese authorities have blamed imported salmon for the outbreak after detecting the virus on a salmon cutting board in the market—though experts said contaminated fish cannot spread the disease.

Norways Food Safety Authority has said theres no evidence indicating fish could be infected. On Wednesday, the Nordic countrys fisheries and seafood minister said they can “clear away uncertainty” that their salmon could be the source.

While Chen has not been to the Xinfadi market, she cant be sure if she has not consumed food from the market, as trucks from Xinfadi frequently go around the neighborhoods—including hers—to sell vegetables, she said.

“Their coverage is just huge,” she said.

Stockpiling

Mr. Li, who lives in Shijingshan district, located in the western pRead More – Source