Beijing, June 17 (IANS) A total of 1,255 inbound and outbound flights to Beijing were cancelled until this Wednesday morning since the municipal government increased the emergency level by COVID-19 on Tuesday night.
Specifically, 615 outbound and 640 inbound flights have been cancelled, according to the Global Times newspaper, since Beijing raised the alert in an attempt to stop the massive spread of the outbreak detected last Thursday in the Xinfadi wholesale market, which leaves so far 137 confirmed cases.
On the other hand, the newspaper points out that some of the patients who have been treated these days in hospitals presented “atypical symptoms” of COVID-19, such as joint discomfort, something that doctors consider “strange.”
In addition, more than 100 health workers from 19 hospitals have been sent since Monday to the central Ditan hospital, the main one now dedicated to treating patients who contract COVID-19, Efe news reported.
The Undersecretary General of the Beijing municipal government, Chen Bei, announced on Tuesday that the city is going from the third to the second level of emergency, with which, among other measures, the neighbouring communities will recheck the identity and state of health of the residents and take their temperature.
This partial confinement implies the suspension of all face-to-face classes in primary, secondary and higher education, and residents are advised to work from home, while communities in “high” risk areas will be sealed and no one will be allowed get out of them.
The underground markets also close, while libraries, museums and parks will open for a limited time and with a capacity of no more than 30% of their capacity.
Interprovincial flights are also suspended and transprovincial group travel is prohibited, Chen announced, explaining that “the situation in Beijing remains serious.”
The return to normality after the city lowered the emergency level in early June has been put on hold, and the authorities’ priority is to prevent the virus from spreading or reaching other cities.
On the other hand, nucleic acid tests continue for all those who have had contact with confirmed cases or who have visited the market of Xinfadi, the main one of the metropolis, closed since Saturday.
So far, it has only emerged that the pathogen was detected on a fish cutting board used by an imported salmon vendor in Xinfadi, and some Chinese experts have claimed that this outbreak of the virus is “probably more infectious” than that detected in Wuhan, the Hubei provincial capital, where COVID-19 began to spread.
In addition to testing and control and prevention measures, Beijing has stepped up inspection of the fresh produce, frozen pork, veal, lamb and poultry markets, and other businesses, including supermarkets and restaurants, are examined to ensure they are not in circulation. products contaminated with the pathogen.