Beijing Shuts Down Schools Amid New Wave Of Coronavirus

Betsy Joles/Getty Images

Varun Hukeri General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
Font Size:

Beijing authorities announced Tuesday that all schools and universities would be shut down as the city grapples with a new coronavirus outbreak.

The Chinese capital also announced new restrictions on travel and public gatherings. The decision to close schools and limit travel indicates that officials are taking a more targeted approach to controlling the outbreak, according to Bloomberg. The move comes amid concerns over rapid growth in new coronavirus cases in Beijing and neighboring provinces.

Beijing has reported 79 new cases in the past four days, according to China’s National Health Commission, and the total reported number of infections has reached 106 amid the new wave. (RELATED: Coronavirus Pandemic ‘Could Have Been Prevented’ If Not For China’s Coronavirus Cover-Up, House GOP Report Finds)

BEIJING, CHINA - JUNE 16:(eds note: photo taken with mobile phone) A Chinese epidemic control worker wears a protective suit and mask while performing a nucleic acid test for COVID-19 on a man who has had contact with the Xinfadi Wholesale Market or someone who has, at a testing center on June 16, 2020 in Beijing, China. Authorities are trying to contain the outbreak linked to the Xinfadi wholesale food market, Beijing's biggest supplier of produce and meat. Several neighborhoods have been locked down and at least two other food markets were closed, as tens of thousands of people are being urged to get tested for COVID-19 at sites set up around the city. The outbreak has triggered fears of a second wave of infection after 56 straight days with no domestically transmitted cases in the capital. More than 8,000 vendors and staff at Xinfadi have already been tested, according to city officials, who are using contact tracing to reach an estimated 200,000 people who have visited the market since May 30. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

A Chinese epidemic control worker tests for COVID-19 on a man who recently visited Xinfadi Wholesale Market (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Beijing reported its first case since April last week, and authorities said they were monitoring the city’s Xicheng and Fengtai districts. The reported cases were linked to Xinfadi, a wholesale food market that supplies most of Beijing’s produce and sees tens of thousands of visitors daily.

Beijing’s municipal government stated Sunday that the city has the ability to test over 90,000 people a day. Tens of thousands in Beijing have already undergone nucleic acid testing, state-owned publication The People’s Daily reported Monday.

Zeng Guang, a senior expert at the National Health Commission, told The Beijing News that a “mild second wave” is expected before eventually being contained. “Beijing will not be the second Wuhan,” he said.