Beijing should continue traffic restrictions despite epidemic easing: expert

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/7/2 17:18:41

Medical staff members take throat swab samples from people at a newly-adopted mobile testing vehicle in Xicheng District of Beijing, capital of China, June 28, 2020. (Photo/China News Service)

Beijing should continue its restrictions on traffic going out of the city despite the easing epidemic situation in the capital experts said Thursday. The city has seen dropping numbers of newly confirmed cases for five consecutive days.

Beijing reported only one new confirmed COVID-19 patient Wednesday, the lowest since the three cases reported on Tuesday. 

Epidemic prevention and control work in Beijing is still at a critical juncture, and a wartime footing should be maintained, a Beijing government official said at a Thursday press conference.

The epidemic is showing a downward trend, but Beijing should not immediately lower its epidemic response level and needs to observe the situation for one or two more weeks before it does so, and the city should continue its traffic flow restrictions, said Wang Hufeng, a professor from the School of Public Administration and Policy at Renmin University of China. 

Even when the response is lowered  to Level III, Wang suggested maintaining controls of outbound population flow for two weeks as a buffer period. This will make it safer to resume work and school in the city in an orderly manner, and check whether the prevention and control effect is sustainable. 

Wang stressed the need for continuous efforts in fighting the COVID-19 epidemic.

The epidemic response level in Beijing was raised to Level II on June 22 amid emerging cases related to the city's Xinfadi market.

After June 16, there were more than 30 confirmed cases in Beijing for three consecutive days. In the first week after June 16, the number of confirmed cases fluctuated between 20 and 30, showing a downward trend. 

Since June 23, the number of daily confirmed cases has been below 10. 

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