China’s capital, Beijing, cancelled scores of flights, shut schools and blocked off some neighbourhoods as it ramped up efforts to contain a coronavirus outbreak that has fanned fears of wider contagion.
Beijing’s airports cancelled more than 1,200 flights and schools in the Chinese capital were closed again on Wednesday as authorities rushed to contain a new coronavirus outbreak linked to a wholesale food market.
Health officials reported 31 new infections for June 16, taking cumulative cases since Thursday to 137 in the city’s worst resurgence in four months, with 356,000 people tested since Sunday.
Tens of thousands of people linked to the new Beijing virus cluster — believed to have started in the sprawling Xinfadi wholesale food market — are being tested, with almost 30 residential compounds in the city now under lockdown.
At least 1,255 scheduled flights were cancelled Wednesday morning, state-run People’s Daily reported, nearly 70 percent of all trips to and from Beijing’s main airports.
The outbreak had already forced authorities to announce a travel ban for residents of “medium- or high-risk” areas of the city, while requiring other residents to take nucleic acid tests in order to leave Beijing.
Most of the affected flights were domestic.
State media said train passengers also got ticket refunds, an apparent bid to discourage travel.