Flights to and from Beijing canceled amid new coronavirus outbreak

Both of Beijing’s major airports have seen a large portion of their flights canceled, as China’s capital tries to snuff out the country’s latest coronavirus outbreak.

More than 60 percent of flights at Beijing Capital International Airport were canceled Wednesday, while around 50 percent were canceled at Daxing, the city’s other main airport, according to multiple reports.

The Associated Press reported that 1,255 flights to and from both airports had been canceled, roughly two-thirds of those scheduled. Reuters reported that the majority of those flights were domestic.

Beijing officials reported 31 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total of new cases since Thursday up to 137. The source of the outbreak has been determined to be Xifandi, a market that sources nearly all of the city’s fresh produce.

Since the outbreak was identified, Beijing has locked down surrounding neighborhoods and closed schools and some bars and restaurants.

Officials have described the situation as “extremely grave,” the AP noted.

“This has truly rung an alarm bell for us,” Party Secretary Cai Qi reportedly said to Beijing’s Communist Party Standing Committee.

Pang Xinghuo, a senior disease control official, said at a news conference on Wednesday that the “risk of the outbreak spreading is huge.”

Beijing on Tuesday was placed on the second stage of the country’s four-tier virus emergency response system, according to Reuters.

Tags Beijing China Coronavirus coronavirus outbreak coronavirus pandemic COVID-19

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