Beijing's major wholesale market suspended after personnel, surroundings test positive for COVID-19

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Xinfadi, the largest wholesale market with fruit, vegetable and meat supplies in Beijing, was suspended on Saturday for disinfection after personnel working there and the surroundings have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

All personnel who had close contact with the market since May 30 will undergo nucleic acid testing, Gao Xiaojun, a spokesman with the Beijing Municipal Health Commission, told a press conference.

According to Gao, the city now has 98 qualified institutions for nucleic acid testing, with the daily testing capacity exceeding 90,000.

To ensure the market supply, special sections have been set up for sales of vegetables and fruits with close-off management, according to a statement jointly issued early Saturday by the market regulation bureau and the health commission of the district.

Covering a total area of 112 hectares, the Xinfadi market has some 1,500 management personnel and more than 4,000 tenants.

Beijing reported six confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday. Together with another case reported on Thursday, all of them are connected to the market or their close contacts.

Inbound cargo flights and imported freight will be closely watched and every effort will be made in the epidemiological investigation and source tracking related to the Xinfadi market, according to the conference.

Chen Yankai, deputy head of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Market Regulation, said the city will strengthen inspections of food markets with fresh products, frozen pork, beef, mutton and poultry as key products to be screened.

Supermarkets, convenience stores, food shops and venues providing food and drink services will also be primary targets of inspections, Chen said.

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