Beijing’s new COVID-19 cases continue to climb, but health authorities say everything is well in hand

Domestic News

Beijing has brought its recent COVID-19 outbreak “under control,” China’s chief epidemiologist, Wu Zunyou, said at a regular news conference on June 18. A day before the press briefing, the Chinese capital confirmed 21 new infections, which brought the total number of cases discovered during the latest outbreak to 158.

Beijing has brought its recent COVID-19 outbreak “under control,” China’s chief epidemiologist, Wú Zūnyǒu 吴尊友, said (in Chinese) at a regular news conference on June 18. A day before the press briefing, the Chinese capital confirmed 21 new infections, which brought the total number of cases discovered during the latest outbreak to 158.

Wu, an expert associated with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, added that the recent outbreak had already peaked on June 13, and that all of the 21 new patients contracted the disease before June 12, when the first few cases of the latest epidemic appeared. “This doesn’t mean we will not have new cases tomorrow,” Wu said. “But the daily number of new transmissions will be in decline.”

In a follow-up interview (in Chinese) with China News Weekly, Wu said that after a thorough epidemiological investigation and contact tracing, the local health authorities were confident that 95% of the new infections had been found.

After nearly two coronavirus-free months, Beijing saw a bunch of new COVID-19 cases last week, most of which were traced to the Xinfadi market, the city’s biggest wholesale food market. Since then, the city has rolled out a series of “wartime-like” measures to contain the virus spread, such as shutting schools, canceling flights, and closing off all residential communities.

The new outbreak also disrupted reopening plans of many businesses, both large and small. For instance, in compliance with a government order that forbids group gatherings, a lot of restaurants had to cancel reservations of wedding ceremonies in June and July.