Can We Trust New Covid Outbreak Reports From Beijing ‘Market’?

The world once again looks worried across to China after the highest number of new infections has been recorded since April. Worse even is that the new corona outbreak started in a food market, reminiscent of the first outbreak of the virus in Wuhan. If Western democracies want to know whether to worry about a second wave, they need to keep a good eye on the numbers coming out of Beijing in the coming days. Problem is that no one knows whether or not we can trust those numbers.

The death toll from Wuhan was famously ‘adapted’ two months after the initial outbreak.

The first major stumbling block is that the Xinfadi market is many times bigger than the one in Wuhan and that no one really knows whether the reporting coming out of China can be trusted.

With many European and American economies recently having relaxed their respective lockdowns, many are wondering already if a new flight ban to and from China is in order. Better to be safe than sorry you know.

Beijing’s Xinfadi market

After the original outbreak in Wuhan, the corona virus has once again made its way into a Chinese food market. After it was determined that dozens of Chinese people are infected with the virus in Beijing’s Xinfadi market, the capital’s largest food market was immediately closed on Saturday. A seafood market in Jinshen also had to close.

On Saturday afternoon, the eleven residential areas around the Xinfadi market were also completely closed. The lockdown comes as a surprise because no infections had been detected in the country for more than 50 days. Also on Sunday there is still no hopeful message for the Chinese. Authorities reported that 57 new infections were detected in the last 24 hours, 38 of which were caused by “local infection”.

Of those 38 local infections, 36 come from Beijing. These are Chinese who either work in the food market or recently visited the market. (The other 19 infections were diagnosed in people returning from abroad.)

Second wave

The authorities reported on Sunday that those infected have been further questioned about their recent social contacts. One of the new corona patients, for example, is a shuttle driver who drives back and forth to the airport. China is concerned that the food market outbreak, which employs nearly 2,000 people in total, could lead to a second wave, so it is not taking any risks.

It is unclear how long the lockdown in Beijing will last. But the next few days, little to nothing will change, the Ministry of Health warned. After all, it takes an average of 14 days for the first symptoms of the virus to manifest.

The new outbreak in the Xinfadi market is reminiscent of the origin of the initial outbreak in the food market in Wuhan, which eventually led to the current global outbreak. That local animal market still remains suspect number one.

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