Beijing has cancelled over 60% of its commercial flights amid a reemergence of Covid-19 cases which began on 11 June. The most recent outbreak in Beijing has led to a cumulative total of approximately 250 cases. In order to control the spread of the new outbreak, Beijing is implementing measures to control the movement of people in and out of high and medium risk zones. The source of the outbreak has been linked to a regional wholesale food market.
A disease control expert from the National Health Commission, Wu-Hao, has predicted that the new daily cases are expected to remain at current levels after which point they will drop off. Although Hao believes the virus outbreak to be under control, he did warn of the possibility of asymptomatic carriers and urged vigilance among the people. Beijing has flagged five high-risk zones and a further 38 medium-risk zones in order to focus on ramped-up testing efforts. Testing capacity in Beijing is now upwards of 300,000 people per day.
Authorities state that testing efforts will focus on personnel in high-risk industries such as healthcare, delivery, and food handling within the designated zones in order to continue to control the spread of the virus. New daily reported cases in Beijing were in the ’30s during 14-17 June, but have since declined to a low of nine on 22 June. Despite this decline, Beijing has reported an increase of new daily cases to 13 as of 23 June, making it unclear if cases are going to drop to zero.
Fears of a second wave are mounting, even as many countries around the world continue to struggle with combatting the first wave. Countries such as India, Iran, and Russia and many countries across Central and South America are among those that are currently focused on flattening their curves. With a vaccine still not available, social distancing, contact tracing, and robust testing remain vital efforts in combatting the spread of Covid-19, in Beijing and worldwide, ensuring supply chains remain functional.