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Global Times

Beijing conducts rapid mass testing after closing produce market linked to virus

Global Times

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/14 19:49:48

Beijing's health authority said Sunday the city's 44 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases registered between Saturday and of 7am on Sunday are all related to the Xinfadi market, the capital city's largest vegetable supply base. The latest figure brings the total number of active confirmed cases in the capital city to 51 as of press time, all linked to the Xinfadi market.

The market was shut down on Saturday after personnel working there and the surroundings have tested positive for the novel coronavirus last week.

The effects of the market's closure were immediately noticeable as the city's officials upgraded certain districts' risk levels, while some seafood products including salmon were pulled off shelves because coronavirus had been found on a chopping board for imported salmon from the Xinfadi market.

A total of 46,000 residents living in the vicinity of the Xinfadi market will receive nucleic acid tests. Twenty-four testing sites have been set up in Fengtai district. Now, more than 10,880 people in Fengtai have been tested, a district official said Sunday.

Beijing immediately conducted rapid and strict measures to avoid further spread of the epidemic.

People queued up in hospitals across different districts of Beijing to take nucleic acid tests, with testing continuing as of press time. Dozens of people were spotted lined up for tests at Youan Hospital, about seven kilometers away from the Xinfadi market on Sunday afternoon.

Regions that have found confirmed cases of COVID-19, including communities in Fengtai and Fangshan districts, have upgraded their risk levels to high or medium. Some residential communities in the city have again applied strict policies like those from several months ago - passes are needed for entering and delivery men are not allowed to enter.

To assure market supply and avoid panic buying, Beijing has coordinated the allocation of vegetables and fruits.

A total of 100 tons of vegetables arrived in Carrefour stores in Beijing from different places Saturday night. More than 2,000 tons of vegetables and fruits reached 800 Wumarts in Beijing on early morning of Sunday, and the supply is three or four times as usual, media reported.

Xinfadi agricultural wholesale market was established in 1988. After 32 years of development, the market has been built into the largest agricultural produce wholesale market in Asia by trading volume, said the market's official website.

So far, the area of market has extended to 112 hectares with 1,500 administrative staff. The market has about 2,000 booths and more than 4,000 fixed-point clients.

The Xinfadi market trades 18,000 tons of vegetables, 20,000 tons of fruits, more than 3,000 pigs, around 1,500 sheep, about 150 cattle, and more than 1,500 tons of seafood on a daily basis, read the website.

In 2019, the transaction volume at the market reached 17.5 million tons, with a turnover of 131.9 billion yuan ($18.6 billion).

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