Beijing reports new coronavirus cases for second day, two food markets shut

It was not immediately clear how the two men were infected. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China reported two new coronavirus infections in its capital on Friday (June 12), a day after the city government declared its first case in nearly two months, and moved to delay plans for some students to return to school.

The new cases, from a different part of Beijing than Thursday's infection, involved two men working at a meat research centre, state media said. It was not immediately clear how they were infected.

Both men, aged 25 and 37, had had no contact with people from Hubei province, where the coronavirus was first detected, or travellers from overseas in the last 14 days, state media said, though the younger man was briefly in Qingdao city in the eastern province of Shandong.

The Beijing city government said it had dropped plans to reopen school on Monday for students from the first to third grades because of the new cases.

It said restaurants would be inspected and checks made on seafood products and fresh and frozen meats.

The research facility, the China Meat Food Comprehensive Research Centre, in Fengtai district in the south of Beijing, remained open on Friday, according to the state-run Beijing Daily.

Two food markets within a 7km radius of the plant had mostly been closed.

State media Beijing News said city authorities had shut down beef and mutton trading at the Xinfadi wholesale market, where they carried out tests and disinfection after Thursday's patient was found to have visited.

Beijing's Jingshen seafood market had also closed, the Beijing News added, saying that although the market gave no reason for the closure, Friday's patients had visited recently.

The men had been to Xinfadi, and recently also visited Dongsiqu agricultural wholesale market in Pinggu district, in the north-east of Beijing, state media reported, adding that the market would be closed from Saturday until further notice.

The coronavirus is first detected at a seafood market in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, in December.

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