The city of Beijing closed all K-12 schools on Tuesday following the onset of a new coronavirus outbreak.
College students in the city were also forbidden from returning to campus, and the city has locked down residential compounds and disinfected over 30,000 restaurants. There were 106 new coronavirus infections recorded in Beijing as of Tuesday.
Beijing authorities reported that the new outbreak began in the Xinfadi market, which covers 277 acres and contains over 2,000 stalls selling produce and various meats. The market supplies roughly 70 percent of the vegetables used in the city. Health workers have so far tracked down over 200,000 people who visited the market during the past two weeks, ordering them to remain at home and testing them for coronavirus.
Beijing had only reported 420 cases of coronavirus since the start of the pandemic and before the new outbreak. Hu Xijin, editor of China’s state-run Global Times, insisted that the city would contain the outbreak.
“There is no way Beijing becomes Wuhan 2.0,” Hu wrote on Twitter. “The world will see China’s powerful capacity in controlling the epidemic, including government’s strong leadership, respect to science, public’s willingness to cooperate and nationwide coordination of control measures.”
U.S. intelligence agencies have reportedly concluded that local Communist Party officials in the city of Wuhan concealed the extent of the original coronavirus outbreak, in part to avoid retribution from their superiors. China then concealed the reach of the outbreak from the world in order to hoard medical supplies.