OPINIONS Observer: Beijing experienced, ready to tackle new outbreak

OPINIONS

Observer: Beijing experienced, ready to tackle new outbreak

By Xu Zheqi | People's Daily app

20:07, June 15, 2020

Beijing on Sunday saw a sudden spike of 79 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past four days, after 56 consecutive days before June 11 of no reported local infections. 

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The capital authorities launched strict prevention and control measures, showcasing China's strong organizational capacity and emergency response capabilities.

Immediate epidemiological investigations found the newly reported cases had direct or indirect contacts with the Xinfadi wholesale food market in Fengtai District.

The district government soon declared a state of "wartime management," with Xinfadi shut down and 11 adjacent residential communities locked down. Officials who failed in their prevention and control duties were removed from their posts. Other districts like Xicheng, Haidian and Shijingshan adjusted their public health emergency response to level two.

A powerful anti-epidemic infrastructure has been fully activated. Government employed big data technology to track people related to Xinfadi and its surroundings. The authorities required anyone who had been to Xinfadi or had any contact with the market since May 30 to be tested. Up to 76,499 people in the capital underwent nucleic acid tests on Sunday, with 59 showing positive results.

All these moves show the city's resolve to combat the virus.

Stressing its openness and transparency, the municipal government has provided timely updates and information. 

Within a day, Beijing's authorities on Sunday held two press briefings to respond to domestic and overseas concerns over the outbreak, and disclosed in detail confirmed cases and reminded residents to be on alert.

Beijing has enacted more precision measures to control the virus this time and upgraded the emergency response within certain areas to reduce the impact on the whole city.

The aim of the more targeted response is also to reduce irrational panic and suspicion. The public now have full confidence in the government's ability to contain the pandemic and are convinced that the outbreak will soon be brought under control with joint efforts.

Informed residents of the capital resume social distancing since the new outbreak and are wearing masks in public. Yet daily life has not changed much. The city is still functioning smoothly, and people go to work as normal. With the notion that nationwide virus control will be conducted on an ongoing basis, everyone is learning to strike a balance between virus control and daily life.

Human society may have been caught flat-footed by the unknown virus, but through lessons and experiences accumulated from Wuhan, Beijing is fully prepared for the latest outbreak.


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