BEVERLY HILLS, June 14, (THEWILL) – Lockdowns were imposed in parts of Beijing on Saturday to try to prevent the spread of a new coronavirus cluster, highlighting the challenges that lie ahead even for places where outbreaks are under control.
There are fears of a resurgence in local transmissions in China, where the outbreak curve has been months ahead of the rest of the world, and comes as many European nations are further lifting lockdowns.
The pandemic is still surging elsewhere, particularly in Latin America, with Brazil claiming the unenviable position of having the world’s second-highest death toll, behind the United States.
After the disease emerged late last year in central China, authorities there largely eliminated transmission within their borders through hyper-strict lockdowns later emulated across the globe.
But on Thursday, Beijing announced its first infection in two months and then said 50 more cases had been linked to the large Xinfadi meat and vegetable market, which provides much of the capital’s food supply.
Authorities have forced residents in 11 nearby residential estates to stay home, ordered mass testing, established a “wartime mechanism” and deployed hundreds of police officers.
“Everyone’s very stressed,” an elderly driver told AFP outside a fenced-off neighbourhood in southwest Beijing.
“There are cases living in there. It’s real.”