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Fear of a coronavirus second wave as China reports highest number of cases in months

Published on 15/06/20 at 12:25pm
Photo by Chinanews.com / China News Service

China reported its highest amount of coronavirus cases in months as a new outbreak has been linked to a food market in Beijing.

Officials say there were 57 new cases logged by Chinese authorities, with 36 of these infections speculated to come from the Xinfadi market on Beijing’s southeast side. 11 neighboring residential compounds were locked down, the reopening of schools has been postponed and deliveries have been restricted in response to this spread of COVID-19. The government has also carried out mass testing, issued travel warnings and deployed paramilitary police.

Local reports believe the virus was found on chopping boards used for imported salmon at the market, which led to many supermarkets pulling the fish from their shelves.

This has prompted fears of a second wave across the country, as China has loosened its harsh lockdown restrictions implemented in January of this year.

A fruit and vegetable seller in Beijing told AFP: “People are scared. The meat sellers have had to close. This disease is really scary.”

After 50 days with no new cases the authorities are worried this latest outbreak could become more widespread, as the market in question supplies 80% of Beijing‘s meat and vegetables. The Chief Epidemiologist of Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes the virus strain does not resemble the type they have been dealing with so far in China. The virus has mutated during its spread to other parts of the world suggesting this new spread could have come to China from another part of the world.

Conor Kavanagh

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