Past month of fighting against COVID-19 in Beijing a historical record: official

By Liu Caiyu Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/11 19:20:40

File photo:Li Hao/GT

Saturday marks a month after the new outbreak of COVID-19 in Beijing which was first discovered at the Xinfadi wholesale market on June 11. The past month has witnessed an anti-epidemic campaign participated in by the entire city and its residents, as well as a month put aside for medical treatment of cases with the struggle surely being recorded in the history of Beijing, an official from the Beijing Municipal government said on Saturday.

In no less than one month, Beijing effectively contained the clustered infections related to Xinfadi market - where there has been zero newly confirmed cases for five consecutive days, the number of cured patients who were discharged from hospitals are increasing and the risk areas for COVID-19 infection are on the decrease. 

The extraordinary anti-epidemic measures won praise from both China and foreign nations and will surely be recorded in the history of Beijing, Xu Hejian, a Beijing municipal government official said at Saturday's daily briefing. 

The nationwide epidemic is stable overall and the epidemic in Beijing is improving, the Beijing official said, apart from high-and medium-risk areas, people nationwide who come to Beijing can travel freely with a green QR code and normal body temperature. No nucleic acid tests are required. 

So far, Beijing has only one high-risk COVID-19 area, Huaxiang in Fengtai district with medium-risk areas being lowered to 12. 

Beijing raised the alarm at the very first instant, and it took only 22 hours to determine the Xinfadi market was the key point for the viral epidemiology investigation. Beijing also shut down the Xinfadi market at the very first moment, and precisely located high-risk groups, the Beijing official said.  

Beijing contained the epidemic in such a short time span paying a minimum price which teaches a lesson to those countries who have failed to curb the virus about half year after the outbreak began, Wang Guangfa, a respiratory expert at the Peking University First Hospital, told the Global Times. 

Some Beijing residents and people working in supermarkets reached by the Global Times hailed Beijing's anti-epidemic campaign in the past month as a "success and reassuring mission done by the Beijing government and residents." 

They said it is not an exaggerated appraisal for Beijing, but a sincere affirmation for the achievements that Beijing has made, while COVID-19 continues to sweep the globe. 

"When the first infection case was reported on June 11, I was really nervous and had imagined the worst case scenario like that of SARS re-emerging in Beijing, but the swift measures adopted by Beijing soon dismissed my concerns," a Beijing resident surnamed Fan, told the Global Times. 

So far, confirmed infections in the US climbed to 3.1 million, Brazil surpassed 1.8 million and India reached 820,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Xu said that during the "accurate and effective" epidemic prevention and control period, Beijing authorities had been racing against time to screen infections, perform COVID-19 tests, and conduct an epidemiological investigation. 

A "dense net of epidemic prevention and control" was made, Xu said, in which Beijing has confirmed all patients who should be confirmed, and strictly quarantined those who should shut down all places that should be shut down and also conduct strict elimination. 

More than 1.1 million people have been tested in Beijing since June 11. More than 5,000 people in Beijing will be released from quarantine in a second group on Saturday, after the first group of quarantined people related to the Xinfadi market were allowed to return home on Tuesday. The Beijing government said more than 74,000 people at high risk of exposure to the market were quarantined.

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