China puts half a million into lockdown amid fresh outbreak fears

China 4 lakh people under lockdown as coronavirus cases rise

China put almost half a million people into lockdown near the capital Beijing in order to contain a fresh coronavirus cluster on Sunday, as authorities warned the outbreak was still "severe and complicated".

China has reported 21 new coronavirus cases for June 27 as a new phase of the outbreak continues in Beijing.

In a sign that the resurgence of cases in the capital is proving hard to stamp out even as officials say they've been largely contained, Hebei province's Anxin county has been sealed off and each household can assign only one person to go out for necessities daily, reported state media. The county is located in the Hebei province which surrounds Beijing, where a new COVID-19 cluster has emerged in recent weeks.

The pathogen was traced to the chopping board of a salmon vendor in the biggest Beijing wholesale market, Xinfadi, sparking a nationwide boycott of the seafood.

The guidelines stipulate that residents with respiratory infections should avoid going to public places and if they do under unavoidable circumstances, they must wear masks, reports Xinhua news agency.

Nearly 8 million Beijing residents had been tested for the coronavirus, local authorities said on Sunday, with the number of daily tests expanded from 40,000 to more than 450,000.

Reportedly, 12 cases have been found in Anxin county, including 11 linked to the Xinfadi market.

China has reimposed a coronavirus lockdown on about 400,000 people in an area near Beijing after a spike in cases.

The capital has mass-tested wholesale market workers, restaurant workers, residents of medium and high-risk neighborhoods and delivery couriers over the past two weeks. City officials have urged people not to leave the city, closed schools again and locked down dozens of residential compounds to stamp out the virus.

In the past day, the capital added new infections and one asymptomatic case.

The total number of recorded COVID-19 cases in China now stands at 84,743, with 4,641 deaths.

Before the recent outbreak, Beijing had not reported a single locally-transmitted case in 57 days.



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