China doesn’t see any ending to this global pandemic. Recently, 11 areas of south Beijing’s Fengtai district were placed under lockdown on Saturday as six new domestic coronavirus cases were reported, as they seemed to be linked to a nearby meat market.
China’s domestic outbreak had been brought largely under control through vast, strict lockdowns that were imposed after the disease was first detected in the central city of Wuhan last year.
These measures had largely been lifted as the infection rate dropped, and the majority of cases reported in recent months were citizens living abroad who were tested as they returned home during the pandemic.
Authorities closed the market, along with another seafood market visited by one of the patients, for disinfection and sample collection on Friday. Hundreds of police officers and dozens of paramilitary police deployed at the two markets an nine nearby schools and kindergartens have been closed.
The chairman of the Xinfadi meat wholesale market told state-run Beijing News that the virus was detected on chopping boards used to handle imported salmon, stoking fears over the hygiene of Beijing’s food supply.
Beijing’s market supervision authorities ordered a city-wide food safety inspection focusing on fresh and frozen meat, poultry and fish in supermarkets, warehouses and catering services.
Major supermarket chains including Wumart and Carrefour removed all stocks of salmon overnight in the capital, but said supplies of other products would not be affected, Beijing Daily reported Saturday.
Some Beijing restaurants were not serving any salmon on Saturday, according to AFP reporters.
Beijing authorities also announced a mass COVID-19 testing campaign of anyone who has had “close contact” with the Xinfadi market since May 30, after they tested over 5,000 environmental samples from farmers’ markets and large supermarkets across the city on Friday. Of those, all 40 positive samples came from Xinfadi market.
Of the tests already carried out, an additional 46 market workers tested positive for the virus in throat swabs but currently show no clinical symptoms, officials said. All have been placed under strict medical observation.