As Beijing faces spike in COVID cases, flights to NYC not canceled
Beijing is reacting furiously, with imposed lockdowns, the firing of local officials and widespread testing as a cluster of COVID-19 cases were found traced to a wholesale food market in the city. Yet flight operations to the U.S. from Beijing remain on schedule.
“Local media reports say the virus was discovered on chopping boards used for imported salmon at the market, prompting major supermarkets in Beijing to pull the fish from their shelves,” BBC reported.
The regime says that they discovered 36 new cases of COVID-19, each of which can be traced back to the market. Previously, China says Beijing went 50 days without an infection.
While 36 new cases out of a city of 21 million may not seem like a lot, Beijing is the head of the government and it’s anxious to avoid widespread lockdowns like the ones in Wuhan. Also, the market in question distributes about 80 percent of the city’s food, including the food of elite communist party members.
Recently, China’s Communist Party just finished its National People’s Congress in Beijing, a meeting of top party officials, which adds to the urgency in finding out how widespread the contagion goes.
“The containment efforts have rapidly entered into a war-time mode,” government official Xu Ying told a news conference according to Reuters. He noted that 100,000 epidemic-control workers have been deployed.
“It is believed that the authorities are using mobile phone signal tracking, security camera surveillance, and big data crunching to speed up epidemiological investigations and contact tracing to identify those who bought food at the market or passed through its phalanx of stalls,” says the AsiaTimes.
Authorities across China are imposing strict quarantines on recent arrival from Beijing as well as shutting down traffic from Beijing.
Reports say that people in other cities who have recently arrived from Beijing are being asked to stay home in strict quarantine– often contacted via text.
That prompts Gordon Chang to ask: As #coronavirus cases spike in Beijing, should we not cut off flights from #China?
It’s a good question because last week China had more than a handful of passengers who tested positive for COVID-19 necessitating the shutdown of an airline’s route.
“China’s aviation authority suspended a China Southern Airlines flight route on Sunday after 17 passengers on a June 11 flight tested positive for the coronavirus,” says Fortune.
A search on Kayak show 41 flights from Beijing to New York city by 11 different airlines, currently.
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