For everyone, it is mandatory to wear the mask in crowded areas or indoors. New restrictions in a situation already defined “extremely serious” by local authorities who in a statement ensure that “the most decisive measures” are taken. Yesterday 27 cases were registered in the capital out of forty nationwide, and since last Thursday 106 cases of infection have been reported in the city: of these, 78 have been detected in the district of Fengtai, where the Xinfadi market is located, and at least one infection it has been ascertained in nine of the sixteen districts of the city.
Strengthened anti-epidemic measures in five other areas: at present, Beijing has a high-risk area – Huaxiang, in the Fengtai district – and 27 medium-risk areas. The authorities closed another market, the Tiantaohonglian, in the central Xicheng district, after an employee was infected. In total, 29 residential complexes in the capital are forced to lockdown. 33,173 catering service providers and 276 agricultural product markets have been disinfected, eleven of which have already been closed.
Also the repercussions on transport were heavy: at least 1,255 flights were canceled at the airport of the Chinese capital, equal to 70 percent of the total, while taxis and on-line ride-sharing services, which are very popular, are prohibited from leaving the city. Hard penalties are provided for those who do not respect the prohibitions. Long-distance buses connecting Beijing with the neighboring province of Hebei and the north-eastern province of Shandong have been suspended. Alarm also in Shanghai, where the municipality has asked anyone who arrives from the capital for a 14-day quarantine, on the basis of similar decisions already made elsewhere. The knot to be resolved remains that on the origin of the outbreak, which is believed to have started from a cutting board used for salmon. According to expert Wu Zunyou, he said the origin could be related to the contaminated products or the distribution chain, but the question marks remain. “We have no evidence that salmon is the host of the virus,” admitted an official from the Center for Disease Prevention and Control.