Residents are tested at a coronavirus testing center set up outside a sports facility in Beijing, June 16, 2020. BEIJING - Beijing is reintroducing strict lockdown measures and conducting mass testing of residents after a fresh cluster of COVID-19 cases emerged in one of its largest wholesale food markets.
The Chinese capital went into what state media calls “wartime mode” after 106 new cases were reported around the Xinfadi wholesale food market in Beijing’s southwestern Fengtai District. The city has deployed 100,000 epidemic control workers, put at least 28 local communities under strict lockdown, and kept closed schools, sports and entertainment facilities that were scheduled to reopen. Officials in Beijing are barring residents who live in high-risk areas from leaving the capital, and taxis and ride-sharing services have been banned from taking people outside the city.
Analysts say a vigorous response is vital for the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) after it built domestic support by declaring victory over COVID-19 despite an early cover-up and missteps. Yet some experts believe that Beijing is cracking down too hard, and residents are calling for more people-friendly measures for controlling the outbreak.
According to the Beijing Municipal Health Commission, there have been 106 new COVID-19 cases in Beijing since a locally transmitted infection was reported on June 12, the first in nearly two months. All patients are receiving treatment in Beijing’s Ditan Hospital.
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