Share article:
Share article:

New coronavirus cases in China spark fears of a second wave

© Belga

Authorities in China have imposed shelter-in-place restrictions on close to half a million people near the capital, Beijing, hit by a new increase in novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases since mid-June.

The Asian country has largely managed to curb the pandemic, but the emergence of 300 new cases in the capital in just over two weeks has fuelled fears of a second wave of infections, and authorities there describe the situation as “serious and complex.”

Beijing’s mayor has already launched a vast campaign of testing, closed schools, called on Beijing residents not to leave the capital, and imposed a lockdown on thousands of people in residential areas viewed as high risk.

Local authorities announced on Sunday that a lockdown has been imposed in the canton of Anxin, 60 kms south of Beijing, in the northern province of Hebei.

According to the semi-official Global Times, 11 cases linked to the new wave of the epidemic in Beijing have been detected there.

Only one person per household will now be authorised to leave home once a day to buy food and medicines.

China’s Health Ministry announced on Sunday that 14 new cases had been declared in Beijing over the past 24 hours, bringing the total since the start of the new wave to 311.

The epicentre of the new outbreak is Xinfadi, a wholesale market in the south of the city, where the bulk of the capital’s supermarkets and restaurants buy their fresh produce.

About a third of the new cases reported thus far are linked to the section of the market reserved for beef and mutton, municipal officials said at a press conference on Sunday.

“The epidemic situation in the capital is serious and complex,” Xu Hejian, a spokesman for the city, stressed.

Tests are being run on people who have gone to the market, restaurant employees, delivery staff and people living in high-risk areas.

So far, 8.3 million samples have been collected, and 7.7 million have already been tested, the Mayor’s Office announced on Sunday.

On 19 June, a senior official of China’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said the new outbreak was under control but Beijing would continue to register new cases.

The Brussels Times

Latest news

Aggression against railway staff more than doubled since 2020
In the first three quarters of 2021, the number of reports of aggression against national railway company SNCB's staff has more than doubled compared ...
Intervention hotline 1722 activated following bad weather warnings
Following bad weather warnings from Belgium's Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium (RMI), the Federal Public Service (FPS) Home Affairs has ...
Thousands march in Brussels to raise awareness of violence against women
More than 3,000 people took to the streets of Brussels on Sunday afternoon for a national march to raise awareness of violence against women in ...
Efficacy of vaccines against new variant known in a few weeks, virologist says
The efficacy of the current coronavirus vaccines against the new Omicron variant will be clear in one to two weeks, Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst ...
Scientists could have communicated better during pandemic, survey shows
The majority of Flemish people continue to trust scientists, however, only half of them feel scientists communicated understandably during the ...
Closing borders and new travel restrictions: Countries react to Omicron variant
As more cases of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus are being reported across the world, more and more countries are imposing tougher travel ...
Several rush hour train services to be scrapped from Monday
Up to ten peak time trains to and from Brussels will be temporarily cancelled starting from Monday, Belgian railway company SNCB announced this ...
Europe’s largest vintage clothes store is in Ghent this weekend
Europe's largest pop-up store for second-hand clothes is once again setting up shop in Ghent on Sunday, offering more than five tonnes of vintage ...
Animal welfare in EU’s pig meat sector: What’s wrong?
EU has put into place legislation to ensure that animal welfare conditions are respected in its agricultural policy but the breaches of its ...
‘Not feasible’: Doctors refuse to follow new testing strategy
Doctors have warned they will not follow the government's adapted testing strategy which would see vaccinated people who were in close contact with a ...
Flanders introduces ‘invisible’ speed cameras
New digital speed cameras that are essentially invisible to the road user are being introduced on various roads and motorways in Flanders, Flemish ...
Warnings issued for slippery roads across Belgium
Drivers have been asked to watch out for slippery roads from Saturday afternoon until Sunday evening, as snow and cold temperatures are expected ...