Beijing authorities say new outbreak stabilized amid mass testing

Beijing, Jun 21 (efe-epa).- Authorities in Beijing have in the last 24 hours detected a further 22 Covid-19 cases and continued to carry out mass testing following a resurgence of infections linked to a market in the Chinese capital.

The figures released Sunday, which pertain to the amount of infections recorded on Saturday, mean the outbreak has stabilized, according to health authorities. Some 22 infections were detected Friday.

There have been 227 coronavirus cases reported since the outbreak was first detected on 11 June.

Authorities in the capital have already tested over two million people, more than 10 percent of the city’s population.

A local government representative told a press conference Sunday that officials had the capacity to carry out 250,000 tests per day and that 7,500 medical workers were on hand at 124 testing facilities across the city.

Despite this, authorities insist that people should not rush out en masse to take tests.

Footage broadcast on state TV channel CCTV showed gatherings of people lining up outside testing centers.

As well as testing, Beijing authorities have launched a campaign to disinfect restaurants, markets and universities.

Soda giant PepsiCo decided to suspend operations in Beijing after detecting eight coronavirus cases in its workforce, according to the Global Times.

Two of those had recently shopped at the Xinfadi market, which has been traced as the origin of the new bout of infections. Some 480 PepsiCo staff members were moved to a quarantine center but tested negative while 87 contacts were traced Saturday.

Restrictions on leaving Beijing still apply for those living in zones deemed to be at high risk.

Chinese epidemiologist Zhang Wenhong told state news Sunday that the bout of Covid-19 in Beijing was not a second wave of the virus but rather a sudden and localized outbreak that had already been brought under control.

He said a second wave would involve a longer propagation of Covid-19.

Several experts have in recent days warned against “prematurely” declaring the new bout of infections as under control. EFE-EPA


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