15:46 28.06.2020

China puts half a million into lockdown amid fresh outbreak fears

Source: The Telegraph
China puts half a million into lockdown amid fresh outbreak fears

Ultra-strict lockdown restrictions have been imposed on residents of Anxin county after an outbreak at a wholesale market in Beijing

 China put nearly half a million people into lockdown near the capital Beijing in order to contain a fresh coronavirus cluster on Sunday, as authorities warned the outbreak was still "severe and complicated."

 After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in neighbouring Hebei province in recent weeks.

 Health officials said Sunday that Anxin county - about 90 miles from Beijing - will be "fully enclosed and controlled", imposing the same strict measures used at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan, where it is believed the virus first emerged.

 Only one person from each family will be allowed to go out once a day to purchase necessities such as food and medicine.

 The move comes after another 14 cases of the virus were reported in the past 24 hours in Beijing, taking the total to 311 since mid-June and spurring the testing of millions of residents.

 The outbreak was first detected in Beijing's sprawling Xinfadi wholesale food market, which supplies much of the city's fresh produce, sparking concerns over the safety of the food supply chain.

 Businesses in Anxin county had supplied freshwater fish to the Xinfadi market, state news agency Xinhua reported.

 Of the 12 new cases of coronavirus found in the county, 11 were linked to Xinfadi, the state-run Global Times added.

 The new cases in Beijing have prompted fears of a resurgence of the virus. The capital has mass-tested wholesale market workers, restaurant workers, residents of medium and high-risk neighbourhoods and delivery couriers over the past two weeks.

 At a press conference on Sunday, officials said 7.7 million samples have already been tested.

 City officials have urged people not to leave Beijing, closed schools again and locked down dozens of residential compounds to stamp out the virus.

 But officials also lifted a weeks-long lockdown imposed on seven Beijing communities on Friday, saying the situation there had been brought under control.

 

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