Massive testing of those possibly affected. Hundreds of cancelled flights. Closed neighborhoods. Classes suspended. With this long series of measures, Beijing has been trying to put an end to the new outbreak of coronavirus that originated in a market in the Chinese capital. There, the authorities have raised the health alert level to 2 (on a scale of 4) and are keeping its 22 million inhabitants in a situation of semi-quarantine.
Beijing seems to be living its own Wuhan, although in a much more moderate version. According to the Chinese experts, the situation has been brought under control thanks to the rapid response of the country’s authorities to stop the spread of the virus. “Beijing has accumulated Wuhan’s experience, so its contingency measures are more specific,” said Liang Qidong, vice president of the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences. That is why it is not necessary, in his opinion, to order the complete closure of the city as happened in the other Chinese city.
Although the figures so far are not worrying – 137 people have been detected as infected – the resurgence has rekindled the fears of a population that was already enjoying what is now known as the new normality. That is why, since the first cases were detected last Saturday, the decisions taken have been tougher. Yesterday, 1,250 flights were cancelled at the two city airports (60% of the total) and long-distance bus and train services were reduced.