China declares martial law in Baoding over new COVID-19 cluster detected at Beijing market

China declares martial law in Baoding over new COVID-19 cluster detected at Beijing market
  • Clock-gray 12:19
  • calendar-gray 15 June 2020

Chinese authorities have declared martial law in the city of Baoding, Hebei province, amid the new COVID-19 cluster at the Xinfadi, the largest wholesale market in Beijing, local municipal authorities said on Monday, APA reports citing Sputnik.

"The epidemic response center announced a hasty declaration of martial law and the launch of a wartime mechanism to prevent the spread of the epidemic in Baoding," the statement said.

According to the statement, given the fact that Baoding is located next to Beijing and there is an extremely intense movement of goods and people between the cities, a high degree of vigilance is required.

Baoding, with a population of over 11 million, is located 90 miles southwest of Beijing.

The authorities closed Xinfadi on Saturday after authorities discovered 46 asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers linked to the market following mass testing. Moreover, a lockdown was reimposed in the Fengtai district of the capital, where the market is located. The city authorities have said that all people who work at Xinfadi or visited the place since May 30 will take nucleic acid tests to detect if they are infected with COVID-19.

A total of 79 people infected with COVID-19 are currently receiving treatment in Beijing hospitals. Prior to 11 June, in Beijing had not registered a single local case of coronavirus infection for 56 days.

The current coronavirus pandemic started in China in December of last year. Initial reports indicated that the start of the COVID-19 epidemic in China was linked to a market in the city of Wuhan in Hubei Province.

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