Beijing: More than 50 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Beijing, in a fresh outbreak of the pandemic after the city appeared to have been clear of the disease for seven weeks.
Authorities swiftly imposed a new lockdown in the area around the Chinese capital’s largest wholesale food market, where the new outbreak began, in efforts to prevent a second wave.
Beijing officials said 45 workers at the Xinfadi market tested positive for the coronavirus, although they showed no symptoms.
That was in addition to seven earlier cases of people with symptoms, six of whom had visited or worked at the market.
Inspectors took 1,901 samples from meat, surfaces, dustbins, handles and other objects at the market, and said 40 tested positive.
Authorities immediately halted sales of beef and mutton at the market and closed other wholesale markets in Beijing.
They are trying to establish how the huge Xinfadi market, which supplies at least four-fifths of the capital’s meat and vegetables, sparked the new outbreak despite China’s having strict lockdown rules for many weeks.
One official said the district was now in “wartime emergency mode”.