More than 1,200 flights to and from the city have been canceled and rail services have been suspended until at least July 9.

 

By Cailey Rizzo
June 17, 2020
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A second wave of coronavirus outbreaks has struck Beijing, prompting the city to raise security alerts to their second-highest level.

At least 27 of Beijing’s neighborhoods have been placed on lockdown and residents cannot leave the city, The BBC reported on Wednesday. More than 1,200 flights to and from the city have been canceled and rail services have been suspended until at least July 9.

After more than 50 consecutive days of no new coronavirus cases, Beijing officials reported a cluster of 87 new cases over the weekend, 46 of which were asymptomatic. Over the past week, there have been at least 137 new cases in the city, according to The Associated Press.

The outbreak is believed to have originated from Xinfadi, Beijing’s largest produce and seafood market. The market is shut down and its surrounding neighborhoods have been placed on high alert. At least 100 people are under quarantine.

Face masks are required when in an enclosed public space and everyone must submit to a thermal temperature check before entering a business. Schools and sports matches have been suspended. Swimming pools and gyms are closed. But roads, factories, and businesses have remained open. Employees are encouraged to work from home when possible.

HECTOR RETAMAL/Getty

China’s new policy towards new coronavirus cases is “zero tolerance.” As soon as a city reports new cases, the area is quickly locked down and millions can become trapped, according to Financial Times. When small virus outbreaks were reported last month in northeast China, the areas were also quickly placed under strict lockdown.

"There is no way Beijing becomes Wuhan 2.0,” Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of state-controlled Global Times, tweeted earlier this week. “The world will see China's powerful capacity in controlling the epidemic, including (the) government's strong leadership, respect to science, public's willingness to cooperate and nationwide coordination of control measures. We will win again.”

Wuhan, the center of the outbreak, lifted its strict lockdown in early April after 76 days. About 84,000 people — around 1 percent — of China’s population have reported confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University.