06/17/2020, 10.39
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Quarantine returns to Beijing: 137 coronavirus cases

by Wang Zhicheng

At least 28 neighborhoods are isolated; schools and universities have been closed after two weeks of opening. Entertainment venues closed. Factories and offices are open, however. 850 flights to and from Beijing canceled this morning; trains reduced or suspended until 9 July.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - The metropolis of almost 20 million people is being subjected to a new period of quarantine, after the discovery of a very active Covid-19 outbreak in the Xinfadi market. Yesterday, another 31 new cases were recorded, bringing 137 patients linked to the meat, vegetable and fish market, the largest in the city. There are six other positive cases, without symptoms and three suspect cases. A case was discovered in Zhejiang: a Xinfadi vendor who had returned to his home in Wenling.

Last night the alarm was raised to the second emergency level: "red" and neighboring high and medium risk areas - 28 neighborhoods - are isolated and people can neither enter nor exit; visits are prohibited; schools and universities, which had reopened two weeks ago, have been closed once more and lessons are back online. All entertainment venues, including swimming pools and gyms, have been closed.

Transport is also quarantined: at least 850 flights to and from Beijing have been canceled this morning; trains were suspended or reduced until 9 July.

The streets are open, however, and also the companies and factories, although the city government recommends using remote work as much as possible.

In recent months, China had declared victory over the coronavirus: after 80 cases recorded in March, the past three months it had registered only a few thousand cases, including those "imported" from travelers from abroad.

A local case in Hebei was also registered yesterday, and 11 "imported": 10 people returned to Gansu and one to Sichuan, all from Saudi Arabia.

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