Concerns about a second wave of coronavirus infections in China heightened on Sunday after capital Beijing reported a further 36 cases, all linked to the city’s largest wholesale food market, despite the country appearing to have got the virus under control.
- Anyone who came into contact with, or visited southwest Beijing’s Xinfadi market since May 30 has been ordered to get tested, while tourism and sports events in Beijing have been banned, Reuters reports. Some 10,000 market staff and residents are also being tested.
- 27 of the 36 new infections are among people who visited or worked in the market, while nine are among people exposed to the market, the city’s government said.
- The market was shut down on Saturday after dozens of new cases of coronavirus were linked to the site since Thursday, while lockdowns were imposed in nearby neighbourhoods following 55 days of no local cases in the city.
- One of the surrounding neighbourhoods, Huaxiang, has now raised its epidemic risk level to high, becoming the only neighbourhood in China to do so. A further 10 of the city's neighbourhoods raised their risk from low to medium, according to Reuters.
- China appeared to have got the virus largely under control, and lifted strict lockdowns in Wuhan, the centre of the virus in the country, in early April.
- But there were 57 new cases nationwide on Sunday, according to China’s National Health Commission, marking China’s biggest daily total in almost two months.
Covid-19 was first detected in China last December. It has since infected more than 7.8 million people worldwide and led to the deaths of 430,000 people. As lockdowns were lifted in China’s worst-hit areas, authorities were on alert for a second wave potentially from asymptomatic cases or infections imported from abroad, while the city of Shulan was put under lockdown last month after dozens of new cases. Officials say the latest outbreak could be linked to contaminated seafood or meat from the market, or less likely a visitor who unknowingly had the virus, the South China Morning Post reports.
In Japan, officials in Tokyo recorded 47 new cases on Sunday, marking the first time that new daily infections rose over 50 since May 5. Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike says the spike is down to very active testing in the city, the Japan Times, reports.