Beijing reports 27 new virus cases as WHO warns of cause for ‘concern’
BEIJING (AFP, REUTERS) – China on Tuesday (June 16) reported another 27 domestically transmitted coronavirus cases in Beijing, where a fresh cluster linked to a wholesale food market has sparked concern from the World Health Organization and prompted a huge trace and test programme.
The new cases bring the number of infections confirmed in the Chinese capital over the last five days to 106, as city officials locked down more than 20 communities in the city and tested tens of thousands of people.
All indoor sports and entertainment venues in the city were shut down on Monday, and some other cities across China warned they would quarantine those arriving from Beijing.
The National Health Commission also reported four new domestic infections in Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing, plus another in southwestern Sichuan province. The World Health Organization said the new cluster was a cause for concern, given Beijing’s size and connectivity.
“A cluster like this is a concern and it needs to be investigated and controlled – and that is exactly what the Chinese authorities are doing,” WHO emergencies director Mike Ryan said.
Chinese officials said had said Sunday that all cases of infection so far had been linked to the Xinfadi market, which 200,000 people had visited since May 30. More than 8,000 workers from the market have been tested and sent to centralised quarantine facilities.
Until this recent outbreak, most of the cases in recent months in China have been imported cases brought into the country by Chinese nationals returning home as the pandemic spread to other countries. On Tuesday, there were another eight imported cases reported.
Overall, China reported 40 new confirmed coronavirus cases for June 15, down from 49 a day earlier, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday.
Beijing’s 27 new cases is down from 36 a day earlier.
The total number of coronavirus cases in mainland China now stands at 83,221, and the death toll remains unchanged at 4,634. China does not count asymptomatic patients, who are infected with the virus but do not display symptoms, as confirmed cases.
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