Beijing reports 13 COVID-19 cases in 3 districts in latest wave, source remains unknown
Published: Dec 27, 2020 10:55 AM

Staff members work in an inflatable COVID-19 testing lab in Beijing, capital of China. File photo: Xinhua

Beijing reported five more COVID-19 cases and one asymptomatic case on Saturday, bringing the total number of confirmed infections since December 14 in the Chinese capital to 13. The source of the infections remains unknown, but some experts believe it may have been imported from overseas.  

Among the five cases, four are employees at Jinma Industrial Plant in Beijing's Shunyi district. The one silent carrier is a taxi driver from Shunyi. 

These newly confirmed locally transmitted cases are close contacts of confirmed cases, health authorities reported. 

Since December 23, Shunyi district has launched free nucleic acid testing in 13 administrated townships and sub-districts, planning to test 800,000 people. The district has been in "wartime" mode since Friday. 

With sporadic cases related to Beijing's Chaoyang district appearing as well, Chaoyang district has tested more than 234,000 people in areas and three sub-districts of Wangjing, Donghu, and the airport. 

Beijing mayor Chen Jining visited Shunyi district on Saturday night, urging local officials to thoroughly complete epidemiological investigations and nucleic acid testing.

Officials and health experts will use big data, door-to-door visits and tests to understand how the virus has been transmitted.

In the past 13 days, from December 14 to Saturday, Beijing reported a total of 13 confirmed infections, three in Chaoyang district, one in Xicheng and nine others in Shunyi. 

Of them, at least four infections have direct or indirect links with cold-chain products, either through the selling or purchasing of frozen products. 

Unlike the Xinfadi market outbreak that occurred in June, this wave of the epidemic is more sporadic and clustered in certain areas. The source of the infections remains unknown. 

Some experts hinted there might be multiple sources of infections, while Feng Zijian, the deputy director from the CDC, said it must have been imported from overseas. Asked about whether Beijing needs to escalate its anti-epidemic measures, Feng said the city's current measures are effective and it cannot fully avoid imported cases from causing locally transmitted infections.

Global Times