Beijing disinfects, conducts nucleic acid testing on all food markets, restaurants, canteens
By Cao Siqi, Zhao Yusha and Wan Lin Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/17 13:18:55
On the first day that Beijing went back to emergency response level II, Beijing officials announced that the city would conduct comprehensive epidemic prevention inspection, environmental disinfection and nucleic acid testing on all food markets, restaurants and dining halls.
Xu Hejian, spokesperson for the Beijing municipal government, made the announcement at Wednesday's morning press conference. He said that comprehensive screening, nucleic acid testing and home observation should be carried out on all those who have had close contact or association with Xinfadi wholesale market, where the latest outbreak of COVID-19 was discovered last week.
Beijing has disinfected 276 farm produce markets and closed 11 underground and semi-underground markets as of 6am Tuesday, and a total of 33,173 catering services providers have also been disinfected. The capital city is expected to complete its citywide sanitation of markets and restaurants by Wednesday.
The Global Times reporter has learned that food markets and restaurants in Beijing have been racing against time to carry out the disinfection, and most of them completed the task overnight on Tuesday.
They are required to complete nucleic acid testing on their staff by Wednesday. If this is not possible, they must finish before Thursday.
A waiter at the Youth Cuisine restaurant in Fengtai district, where the Xinfadi wholesale market is located, told the Global Times on Wednesday that all staff received nucleic acid tests on Tuesday at a nearby testing site for free. He also said people from nearby companies and restaurants were all required to do the tests.
In addition to the staff, other people who regularly go to the restaurants will also need to take the test, according to an owner of a bistro in Chaoyang district, saying that she was told on Wednesday to add her son on the test list even though he only goes there on weekends.
Five large and medium-sized restaurants in one of Beijing's largest shopping malls also told the Global Times on Wednesday that all their employees received nucleic tests on Tuesday for free, after being notified by their community.
The results will come out in one or two days, said one employee from a restaurant in Beijing's Joy City shopping mall at Chaoyang District.
Three fast food restaurants' employees said that they are still waiting to take nucleic tests. "We heard that all restaurant employees are required to get the test, but we haven't received a formal notice yet."
Two small-sized pancake stall owners reached by the Global Times also said they haven't been informed and did not even know that they were required to take tests.
All those restaurants have been disinfected at least once in the last few days. "If we cannot meet the hygiene standard, we will be ordered to close," said an employee from a steamed bread store.
One restaurant employee said the throat swab test result came out in half an hour. "But the situation was in a chaos as people did not keep a safe one-meter distance."
A Beijing education official also announced that all campuses will be disinfected, and nucleic acid tests will be given to school's store operators and management staff.
As of Tuesday, Beijing has reported 557 confirmed local cases with 411 discharged from hospital and nine deaths.
Wang Wenwen and Li Hao contributed to this story
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