Beijing's War on Fresh Outbreak

Residents undergo nucleic acid tests at a stadium in Beijing yesterday. Image: Du Yang/China News Service/Getty
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Residents undergo nucleic acid tests at a stadium in Beijing yesterday. Image: Du Yang/China News Service/Getty

Beijing has gone into "war-mode" to stomp out a fresh spike in COVID-19 cases with aggressive testing, security checkpoints, school closures, and temperature checks, Reuters reports.

The city reported 79 cases over the last few days, after nearly 2 infection-free months. The latest cluster has been traced to Beijing’s Xinfadi food market—20X the size of the Wuhan seafood market where the novel coronavirus first emerged.

Beijing suggested that Europe could be the source of the new outbreak, citing a DNA sequencing of the virus that has not yet been shared outside China, according to the South China Morning Post. Virus samples were identified on cutting boards used to prepare imported salmon.

Wu Zunyou, the Chinese CDC’s chief epidemiologist, said yesterday that the source could be “either contaminated seafood or meat from the market,”—which he deemed the most likely scenario—“or a visitor or worker.”

The Quote: “We shouldn’t expect zero cases. The virus as part of our daily life is the new normal, says Jia Ping, director of a Beijing think tank.

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