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14 Jun 2020 | 02:54 AM UTC

China: Authorities reimpose lockdown measures in parts of Beijing June 13 /update 68

China News Alert

Beijing authorities reimpose lockdown measures in parts of Beijing on June 13 following increased COVID-19 cases; heed authorities' instructions

TIMEFRAME expected from 6/14/2020, 12:00 AM until 7/15/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Shanghai). COUNTRY/REGION China, Beijing

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Event

Authorities reintroduced lockdown measures in parts of Beijing on Saturday, June 13, following the detection of a new cluster of locally transmitted coronavirus disease (COVID-19) confirmed cases in the vicinity of the Xinfadi market. Authorities closed the market at 03:00 (local time) on Saturday and placed the entirety of southern Fengtai district, including 11 residential areas in the vicinity of the market, under lockdown measures. Additional movement restrictions were also introduced across Beijing and sporting events were suspended. Plans to reopen schools in the capital for grades one through to three on Monday, June 15, were also placed on hold.

Beijing was closed to tourism on June 13 following the detection of the new cluster of COVID-19 cases at Xinfadi market and local authorities said that the city is in "wartime emergency mode". Out of 517 individuals later tested in the area, 45 tested positive with the virus; however, none of the individuals who tested positive seemed to experience COVID-19 symptoms at the time of testing. At least 139 contacts of those who tested positive have been quarantined. The sale of salmon was also prohibited in Beijing as the COVID-19 virus was found on chopping boards used for imported salmon. China reported 11 new COVID-19 cases (and another seven asymptomatic cases, which are not included in the official count) on Friday, June 12, and all locally-transmitted cases in the country had been confirmed in the capital.

State-affiliated media sources reported a new confirmed case of COVID-19 in Beijing on Thursday, June 11, after two months with no reported cases. According to reports, the patient diagnosed with COVID-19 had not left the city and had not been in contact with any individuals who had traveled overseas.

Chinese authorities announced on Monday, June 8, that 95 foreign airlines will be permitted to resume commercial flights to Chinese destinations following a suspension of flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Airlines are permitted to operate one flight a week into China and can choose from a list of cities provided by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), provided they were already licensed to operate the route prior to the flight ban. Airlines that successfully screen out positive COVID-19 cases prior to arrival in China for three consecutive weeks will be permitted to operate a second weekly flight. Airlines that operate a flight with five or more positive cases will be suspended from operating flights for a week, and flights with ten or more cases will see the airline suspended for four weeks.

The CAAC previously authorized the resumption of charter flights from seven countries on May 28 in order to allow skilled workers to enter China in an attempt to stimulate the country's economy. The countries affected by the decision are Singapore, Japan, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Switzerland. South Korea had previously been granted this permission in early May.

As of Sunday, June 14, authorities have confirmed 84,229 cases of COVID-19 in the country and 4638 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay. To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

 

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