Beijing Closes Schools As Second Wave Of Coronavirus Hits
Schools in Beijing have closed once again after the city was hit by a second wave of the coronavirus.
The city's education commission ordered the closure following the new outbreak, according to Al Jazeera.
The teaching board said on its social media account that all schools would go back to online teaching from Wednesday (17 June) and universities should suspend the return of students.
Beijing's city government has also raised the Covid-19 emergency response from 'Level III' to 'Level II' which signifies how seriously authorities are taking the new outbreak.
Under Level II, Beijing reinstated lockdown on some communities, requiring people to have their temperatures taken, register with the entrance guards, and check health codes before entering the closed communities.
Communities, sub-districts and streets in high/medium-risk areas would ban non-locals and cars from entering, while communities in high risk sub-districts would be closed off, allowing no one to leave.
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Chen Bei, deputy secretary general of the Beijing Municipal People's Government said: "Beijing faces serious danger of imported cases and spread in the city and the country."
This meant that at least 1,255 inbound and outbound flights were cancelled on Tuesday (16 June), according to state media.
As well as flight cancellations, the Xinfadi seafood market, which also sold produce and meat, as well as two other markets in nearby districts have been shut after newly confirmed cases.
Chinese Communist Party's Global Times reported that Beijing saw a total of 106 confirmed cases as of Tuesday leading to the city locking down a total of 29 residential communities, putting four large districts into 'wartime mode', disinfecting 276 food markets, shutting down 11 underground and semi-underground markets and screening over 200,000 people within 72 hours.
Despite the new cases being linked to the Xinfadi market, Wang Guangfa, a respiratory expert at Peking University First Hospital in Beijing, said capacities for prevention and control have been greatly improved from when the virus came to everyone's attention in Wuhan.
He told The Global Times: "Compared to the initial stage of the outbreak in Wuhan, we have a very clear understanding of the virus, and people's awareness of prevention and control has made great progress.
"The experience accumulated in the early days of prevention and control also provides an effective reference for prevention and control measures taken at this stage. Beijing will never become the second Wuhan."
Featured Image Credit: PA