BEIJING (Reuters) – Several districts of the Chinese capital put up security checkpoints, closed schools and ordered people to be tested for the coronavirus on Monday after an unexpected spike of cases linked to the biggest wholesale food market in Asia.
After nearly two months with no new infections, Beijing officials have reported 79 cases over the past four days, the city’s biggest cluster of infections since February.
The return of the coronavirus has shrouded Beijing, home to the headquarters of many big corporations, in uncertainty at a time when China is trying to shake off the economic torpor caused by the disease.
The outbreak has been traced to the sprawling Xinfadi market where thousands of tonnes of vegetables, fruits and meat change hands each day. A complex of warehouses and trading halls spanning an area the size of nearly 160 soccer pitches, Xinfadi is more than 20 times larger than the seafood market in the city of Wuhan where the outbreak was first identified.