Beijing Residential Areas Go on Lockdown After Fresh Virus Cluster is Discovered

The officials of the China's National Health Commission (NHC) said that 57 new confirmed COVID-19 infections, including 38 domestically transmitted, were reported on Saturday. Among them were three Xinfadi market workers, one market visitor and two employees at the China Meat Research Center, seven kilometres (four miles) away.

But another 45 asymptomatic cases - which China counts separately - were detected after mass testing of almost 2,000 workers at the market on Friday, city health official Pang Xinghuo later told reporters.

Xinfadi market in the city's south-western Fengtai district was shut down in the early hours of Saturday, after two men who had recently visited the market were reported to have Covid-19.

But Chinese authorities have zeroed in on the new cases' shared links to Xinfadi market, a sprawling wholesale market that supplies more than 70% of Beijing's fruit and vegetables, according to local news reports.

Officials have said that everyone who works at the market and lives in surrounding neighbourhoods has to undergo testing, as well as those who have visited the market.

Beijing has witnessed its first Covid-19 cases in two months.

Chu reportedly said the capital district is officially under "wartime emergency mode".

On June 11, and authorities confirmed two more infections the next day.

All Beijing's new cluster of COVID-19 cases linked to Xinfadi market

A total of 45 people out of 517 tested at the Xinfadi market tested positive for Covid-19, a district official said.

State-run Xinhua news agency said the Xinfadi market has a total area of 112 hectares, some 1,500 management personnel and more than 4,000 tenants.

Nine kindergartens and elementary schools around Xinfadi were ordered to close, and apartment complexes near the market were sealed off and movement severely restricted.

Nineteen of the new confirmed cases were so-called imported cases involving travellers from overseas, with 17 of them arriving in Guangdong. "We can not rule out subsequent cases in the future", said Pang Xinghuo, an official at the Beijing Center for Disease Control.

Almost everyone who tested positive had worked or shopped at the market, which employs upwards of 10,000 people. The capital will suspend sports events and interprovincial tourism effective immediately, he said. "This is a massive wholesale market, reportedly the largest in Asia".

Another outbreak of the coronavirus has been reported at a wholesale market in Beijing; creating fear of another wave of the pandemic.

Outside the market, paramilitary police in green uniforms put up vehicle barricades and stood in position at the entrances.