Virus emerges in the Chinese capital, Beijing goes into wartime mode

A district in central Beijing has gone into "wartime mode" after discovering a bunch of coronavirus cases in the city's largest meat and vegetable market, which increases the risk of a second wave of infection in the sensitive capital, the seat of the Chinese Communist Party.

The discovery of dozens of pathological and asymptomatic infections underscores the vulnerability of the virus and its propensity to spread despite stringent social controls.

Beijing municipal government spokesman Xu Hsien said at a news conference: "We do not want to diminish our defense for even a second under the control of the epidemic. We must be ready for a long time to fight the virus."

“We need to be aware of the dangers of imported cases and that epidemic control in our city is complex and serious, and will be here for a long time,” he said.

Officials are particularly alert to cases around the market as to how the coronavirus spreads: it originated in the Huanan food market in China's Wuhan city and soon worldwide.

The Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday that a man who went to the Zinfadi Market in the Fengtai district, southwest of the capital, had reported the purchase of meat and seafood.

Two quality control workers at the state-owned China Meat Food Research Center, which visited Zinfadi and five other markets in the city, also tested positive, it said Friday.

This caused the mania of the test. By the end of Friday, Beijing officials had swallowed up 1,940 workers at major supermarkets and other food markets in the capital and collected 5,424 environmental samples.

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