Xinfadi market resumes, closes retail sales after Beijing curbs outbreak
By Zhang Han Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/13 21:48:40
The Xinfadi market in southern Beijing, the largest seafood and agricultural wholesale market in Asia, will shut down its retail business when it resumes operations after 63 days due to a COVID-19 outbreak related to the market, authorities said on Thursday.
The market in Fengtai district will no longer open to individual customers. Sellers and buyers must register on WeChat, and will only be allowed to enter the market after their registration is approved, district official Zhou Xinchun said at Thursday's press conference on epidemic control.
Products traded at the market will also be registered electronically to guarantee their traceability, Zhou said.
Xinfadi will resume 60 percent of its capacity in trading vegetables and fruits on Saturday, and return to full operations by September 10, but underground trading areas will remain closed.
A separate 1,000-square-meter market outside the wholesale market, which opened on July 28, will serve local residents instead.
A Fengtai resident told the Global Times on Thursday that she used to purchase seafood and meat at Xinfadi in large quantities before festivals due to its low price and high quality. "The new market does not sell seafood, but I heard that a new section is under construction, and will sell meat and seafood once completed," the resident said.
Xinfadi was closed on June 13 after an outbreak, which eventually infected 335 people, especially employees at Xinfadi's beef and lamb section, which also sells seafood.
Before the outbreak, 60,000 people visited the market on a daily basis. Making Xinfadi wholesale-only will reduce the amount and diversity of visitors, which would lower the risk of virus transmissions and the difficulty of tracing the source if another outbreak occurs, analysts said.
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