Beijing faces high risk of Covid-19 infection

Beijing faces high risk of Covid-19 infection

BEIJING, April 23 (APP): Beijing faces high risk of COVID-19 infection as the capital city has witnessed several outbreaks, involving multiple transmission chains, said a Beijing health official, after four newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and 10 silent coronavirus carriers were reported on Friday.

Officials also warned the upcoming May Day holidays would pose a challenge to Beijing’s COVID-19 prevention and control efforts, Global Times reported on Saturday.

The newly found cases, along with cases with abnormal nucleic tests, belonged to a tourists group consisting of mainly elderly people; a group of decoration workers and some middle school students, Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the Beijing municipal disease prevention and control center, said at a conference.

The middle school in Beijing’s Chaoyang district, where nine students were found with positive nucleic acid tests, has suspended school for seven days and is conducting epidemiological investigation. All 140 people in the elderly tourists group were placed under quarantine, according to Beijing’s health authority.

The Beiwu village in suburban Beijing’s Shunyi district, where the decoration workers live, is also put under quarantine. A total of 35 close contacts of the workers are under sealed-off management.

It is unknown what have triggered all those infections, yet Beijing officials said the transmission risk remains very high given the wide scale of those people’s activities in the past few days. Cai Qi, Beijing’s Party chief, hosted a meeting, where he said the capital city is in a serious condition given the complicated transmission chains, and he asked to stamp out the virus as soon as possible.

Task forces from the municipal government were dispatched to Shunyi and Chaoyang districts to oversee their COVID-19 prevention and control work. Xu Hejian, spokesperson of the Beijing municipal government, also said on the Friday press conference that the upcoming May Day holidays would pose a challenge to Beijing’s COVID-19 prevention and control and as people’s mobility will increase during this period of time.

The Beijing municipal government issued a notice on Monday encouraging local residents to avoid travel and stay put during the holidays, as the travel rush could increase the risk of accelerating virus transmission.