Beijing adds 25 more Covid-19 cases, tally now 183; expert says city outbreak under control
Two new suspected cases, both local, were reported in Beijing, the National Health Commission (NHC) said in its daily bulletin on Friday morning.Updated: Jun 19, 2020, 08:09 IST
Beijing added 25 new cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) for Thursday, four more than the day before, taking the tally to 183 for the new outbreak in the city with nearly all the infections linked to the sprawling Xinfadi fresh food market in the southwestern Fengtai district.
Overall, mainland China reported 32 newly-diagnosed Covid-19 cases, including four imported cases (three in Guangdong and one in Gansu), and 28 local infections comprising 25 in Beijing, two cases in neighbouring Hebei province and one case in the northeastern province of Liaoning.
Two new suspected cases, both local, were reported in Beijing, the National Health Commission (NHC) said in its daily bulletin on Friday morning.
The caseload in Beijing went up after a Chinese medical expert on Thursday evening said that the city has brought the outbreak under control though the capital could expect sporadic new cases.
The first case in this new outbreak was reported on June 11, leading city authorities to reimpose a level two alert days after it had been lowered to the level three, or the least, alert on June 6.
Beijing authorities acted quickly to curb infection risks in the capital, shutting down and disinfecting fresh food and wet markets, fencing off dozens of residential communities near the affected markets, restricting travel out of Beijing and carrying out hundreds of thousands of nucleic acid tests.
Beijing is under a restricted lockdown with three categories of people not allowed to leave.
The first category includes confirmed Covid-19 patients, suspected cases, close contacts, asymptomatic carriers and people with fever.
The second covers those who have visited Xinfadi wholesale farm-produce market or had close contact with relevant staff since May 30. The third includes people living in medium- and high-risk areas, a local official has said.
Other residents should also avoid unessential travels outside Beijing and a negative nucleic-acid test certificate issued within the past seven days is a must for those who urgently need to leave the city.
Late on Thursday, Wu Zunyou, the chief epidemiologist of China’s Centre for Diseases Prevention and Control, said: “The epidemic in Beijing has been brought under control”.
Going by recent case numbers, June 13 was the peak of the current outbreak, Wu told a regular news conference a day after new confirmed cases fell to 21, from 31 the previous day.
“When I say that it’s under control, that doesn’t mean the number of cases will turn zero tomorrow or the day after,” Wu said.
“The trend will persist for a period of time, but the number of cases will decrease, just like the trend that we saw (in Beijing) in January and February,” he said.
Gao Fu, the director of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), had earlier said the outbreak probably did not occur in early June or late May, but probably a month earlier.
“A lot of asymptomatic or mild cases were detected in this outbreak and that is why the environment has such a large amount of virus,” Gao said at a seminar in Shanghai this week.
Overall, China has reported 4,634 deaths and 83,325 infections from Covid-19.