New Wave of Infections in China is a Terrifying Reminder That Covid-19 Isn’t Going Away Anytime Soon


New Wave of Infections in China is a Terrifying Reminder That Covid-19 Isn’t Going Away Anytime Soon

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

The spread of the coronavirus Covid-19, which originated from Wuhan, China, has rapidly affected the entire globe. Countries in every continent are grappling with the virus in some way or the other, with many nations imposing lockdowns to contain the spread of the virus. For its part, China had appeared to contain the spread of the virus within its own borders even as it continued to spread across the world. However, a sudden spike in the discovery of fresh cases in the Chinese capital of Beijing has sparked fears that a “second wave” of Covid-19 could be in the offing for China.

Since last week, 106 new positive cases of Covid-19 have been detected in Beijing, leading to the authorities imposing strict lockdown measures in 11 districts of the capital city. The source of these new infections is thought to be the Xinfadi market, a sprawling complex that, according to a BBC report, “accounts for around 80 per cent of Beijing’s farm produce and distributes food to China’s Northern provinces including Shandong, Shanxi, Hebei and Liaoning.”

China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention has said that the body believes that these new locally transmitted cases can be traced back to a carrier that arrived from outside Beijing, or even China, as the city had not reported any fresh cases in 56 days. “Ever since new cases suddenly emerged in Beijing, we have tried to figure out the reasons for the outbreak since there were no COVID-19 cases found over the past two months,” said Wu Zunyou, an epidemiologist working with the body. “We came up with several possibilities, and the most likely one is that the carrier of the novel coronavirus comes from outside China or other parts of China and brought it here.”

The sudden spike in the number of cases in China is a sobering reminder to the rest of the world that the pandemic might not be going away anytime soon. Even in New Zealand, a country that declared itself coronavirus-free after not detecting any new cases for three weeks, two new cases were detected in women who had arrived in the country from the United Kingdom.

The world might be desperate to go back to normalcy, but a highly contagious disease like Covid-19 is not something that can be lightly dismissed.