Nuclear-armed neighbors China and India may be enmeshed in a deadly border dispute with potentially serious ramifications for the global community, both countries are struggling with an alarming resurgence of COVID-19 cases, according to media reports.
Yesterday, Chinese officials ratcheted up restrictions in Beijing as nearly 150 new coronavirus cases have been identified in the city over the past week. More residential compounds were placed under ‘partial lockdown’ conditions on Tuesday. Beijing has already tested more than 350k people since Saturday, with a goal of testing a large chunk of the city’s population of ~20 million people.
According to Al Jazeera English, one of the few English-language news organizations with reporters still on the ground in Beijing, many locals were taken by surprise as the local government raised the emergency alert level to ‘II’, closed schools and markets and began imposing movement restrictions, particularly on those who live in “high risk” areas (ie areas near the Xinfadi wholesale food market where officials believe the outbreak originated).
Some Beijingers didn’t realize that their residential community had been placed on ‘partial lockdown’ with nobody allowed in or out until all residents have been tested. AJ says there are currently at least 27 communities under these conditions.
Nelson Quan had no idea he had been locked into his compound in the Yuquan district of Beijing until he arrived at the front gate and saw the barricade.
Four days earlier, on June 11, Beijing had reported its first COVID-19 case in almost two months. Now, Quan’s community and at least 27 others are forced to stay at home while they await the results of their nucleic acid virus tests. No one is allowed in, or out.
“Two months of things loosening up, and life feeling like it’s going to be normal, and all of a sudden we’re back to where we were in February,” Quan said in a phone call.
As Beijing cut off transportation including bus and rail service, and 70% of flights were cancelled. We reported last night that China had confirmed 44 total new cases yesterday, with 11 of them imported, according to public health officials. That’s a total of 1,255 flights.
One official said Wednesday that Beijing cannot rule out the possibility that the number of cases in the city will stay at current levels for some time. Pang Xinghuo, a senior official for the Beijing disease control authority, says the epidemic is still growing in the city. On a lighter note, Chinese and Norwegian authorities have confirmed that Norwegian salmon was likely not the source of the novel coronavirus that was discovered on cutting boards in the Xinfadi market, the purported ‘epicenter’ of the Beijing outbreak, which has reportedly now spread to several surrounding provinces, while the city of Guangzhou struggles with an outbreak of its own.
More than 1,250 flights that were scheduled to depart from Beijing on Tuesday were cancelled, some 70% of the total scheduled flights, according to media reports.
Even more dire numbers were reported out of India on Wednesday, which registered 2,000 deaths in a day for the first time, a record-breaking total that took the Indian death toll to 11,903. Meanwhile, the number of confirmed infections surged over 354,000, as Mumbai and Delhi feel the brunt of the outbreak.
One analyst shared several charts illustrating how the latest outbreaks in China are “textbook” examples of a ‘second wave’ pattern.
— Jim Bianco (@biancoresearch) June 17, 2020
Globally, the outbreak has surpassed the 8.1 million case mark, while deaths neared 444,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The US has the most cases and deaths, followed by Brazil.?