Airports in China’s capital Beijing cancelled more than 1,200 flights on Wednesday amid fears over a new wave of coronavirus infections, AFP reported. Beijing recorded 31 new cases on Wednesday. Thousands of people in the city are being tested after the emergence of a cluster of cases linked to a wholesale market.
At least 1,255 scheduled flights, constituting 70% of the trips to and from Beijing’s major airports, were cancelled on Wednesday morning, the news agency reported, quoting China’s state-run newspaper People’s Daily.
The new cases have sparked concern because China had managed to largely control the outbreak. Schools in Beijing have also been closed as a precautionary measure. Almost 30 residential areas in the city have been put under lockdown.
With the 31 new coronavirus cases being confirmed on Wednesday, Beijing’s cumulative infections since Thursday rose to 137. According to Reuters, this is the worst resurgence of infections in the city since February.
Beijing’s latest outbreak has been linked to the huge Xinfadi wholesale food centre in the city’s South West part.
Several other places in China have announced quarantine measures for people coming in from high-risk areas. Shanghai had on Tuesday said that it will quarantine travellers for 14 days, according to Reuters. Heilongjiang province, on the other hand, said it will quarantine people linked to the Xinfadi market or those with history of residence in medium to high-risk areas of Beijing for 21 days.
The coronavirus pandemic first originated in China’s Wuhan city in December. Within months, the highly-infectious disease spread to more than 180 countries. The coronavirus has infected more than 81 lakh people worldwide and claimed 4,41,668 lives, according to a tracker launched by the Johns Hopkins University. The United States, Brazil, Russia, India and the United Kingdom are the five worst-hit countries in the world.