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Covid-19 in Beijing: China confines half a million people

China confined nearly half a million people on Sunday near the capital Beijing, which has been hit since mid-June by a rebound in Covid-19 that the authorities still describe as “serious and complex”.

The Asian country largely contained the epidemic. But the emergence of some 300 new cases in the city in the space of just over two weeks is fueling fears of a second wave of contamination.

The town hall has already launched a vast screening campaign, closed schools, called on the Beijingers not to leave the capital and confined several thousand people to residential areas deemed to be at risk.

The township of Anxin is affected

Local authorities announced on Sunday the confinement of the canton of Anxin, located 60 kilometers south of Beijing in northern Hebei province. Eleven cases linked to the Beijing epidemic rebound were identified there, according to the semi-official newspaper Global Times. Only one person per household will now be allowed to go out once a day to buy food and medicine.

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The Chinese health ministry said Sunday 14 new local cases in Beijing in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 311 since the start of the epidemic rebound.

The outbreak was detected in Xinfadi, a wholesale market in the south of the city. It supplies most of the capital’s supermarkets and restaurants with fresh produce.

About a third of the new cases reported so far are linked to the section of the market reserved for beef and mutton, municipal officials said Sunday at a press conference.

A “serious and complex” situation

“The epidemic situation in the capital is serious and complex,” said Xu Hejian, a spokesman for the city.

The screening still in progress concerns those who have visited the market, restaurant employees, delivery men and residents of residential areas deemed to be at risk.

In total, out of 8.3 million samples taken so far, 7.7 million have already been tested, the town hall announced on Sunday.

On June 19, a senior official at the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention said that the new outbreak was now “under control”, but that Beijing would continue to register new cases.

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