Beijing requires merchants at wholesale agricultural markets to take daily COVID-19 tests
Published: May 17, 2022 06:43 PM
Vendors leave the Xinfadi Market in Fengtai district, Beijing on Sunday after getting their belongings back. The market was the epicenter of recent COVID-19 outbreak in the capital, during which 335 confirmed cases had been reported as of Sunday. These vendors have undergone 28 days of quarantine and received negative results in nucleic acid tests. Photo: cnsphoto

Vendors leave the Xinfadi Market in Fengtai district, Beijing. Photo: cnsphoto

The city of Beijing released a new version of anti-epidemic guidance manual for wholesale agricultural markets on Tuesday, in which it requires workers and merchants in the markets to take daily nucleic acid tests. This follows the recent cluster infections in a market in Yuegezhuang where a total of 50 cases were reported by Monday afternoon.

According to the guidance, people entering wholesale agricultural markets must show a negative test result taken within 24 hours, except for out-of-town freight drivers, who should show negative test results from within 48 hours to get into the markets but must receive antigen tests immediately as they enter and cannot get out of the trucks until the test results come out. 

The guidance manual also required businesses to keep their environment well ventilated, clean and disinfected. "Door handles, water taps and buttons of public toilets in the markets should be disinfected at least five times a day, and garbage disposal areas should be sanitized no less than three times a day," said the guidance.

The guidance manual was released amid the recent four cluster infections in Beijing. One of them was in Yuegezhuang market in Fengtai district on Sunday, where there have been 50 positive cases reported from Sunday to Tuesday afternoon, with 27 of them being workers in the market.

The current priority is to screen people related the Yuegezhuang market outbreak as quickly as possible to prevent further spread of the virus, Beijing municipal government spokesman Xu Hejian said at a press briefing on Monday.

Beijing also enhanced restrictions on entering residential compounds on Tuesday, requiring negative test results from within 48 hours, especially for delivery and maintenance workers entering the communities.