On Wednesday, Beijing reported 31 new Kovid-19 cases the previous day, bringing the total number of infections to 137 in the past six days.
The latest outbreak has already spread to Beijing’s 16 districts and four other provinces, not only in neighboring Hebei, but also to Liaoning in the northeast, Sichuan in the southwest, and Zhejiang in the country’s east coast.
To prevent the spread of the virus in the country, authorities have banned people from moving to Beijing, as well as people who are connected to the Zinfadi market, in all neighborhoods considered to be of medium or high risk. So far, there are 27 areas designated as medium-risk in the city and another region – close to Zinfadi – has been identified as high-risk.
Other municipalities in the city of 20 million have been urged not to make unnecessary trips to the capital, but those who insist on departing must produce a negative coronavirus test result obtained within a week, the municipal government statement said.
Growing cities and provinces, including Shanghai, said they would impose restrictions on people coming from Beijing, especially in the medium or high-risk neighborhoods.
Mass flight cancellation
There has been no official statement from the Chinese government on the cancellation of the flight. CNN reached out to Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines for comment, but received no response.
According to Aviation Data Tracker Warflight, 3 p.m. At least 630 flights have been canceled or canceled at Beijing Capital International Airport and Beijing Daxing International Airport on Wednesday (3 a.m. ET) – half of all scheduled flights.
VerifyFlight data shows that flight arrivals from the two airports have been steadily rising since May this week, falling sharply.
Another China-based aviation data provider FlightMaster said 1,255 flights were canceled at two airports on Wednesday, 67% of outgoing flights and 68% of incoming flights.
The country’s flag carrier Air China has announced on social media that 297 flights arriving or departing from Beijing Capital International Airport have been canceled.
Several domestic airlines, including Air China, China Eastern, China Southern and Hainan Airlines, have promised full refunds to passengers who booked flights to Beijing from this week to the end of June, the government’s People’s Daily newspaper said.
People’s Daily reported that railway officials in the country had announced a full refund on all tickets to and from Beijing, which were booked before Wednesday.
Earlier this week, the city had already discontinued all outbound taxi and car-mailing services and stopped some long-distance bus routes between Beijing and neighboring states.
Raised the alarm
Describing the new outbreak as “very serious,” the Beijing municipal government on Tuesday raised its alert level to level 2 – the second highest in a four-tiered public health emergency response system, raising regulatory measures across the city.
All kindergartens, primary schools and secondary schools have been closed, and students have been told to return to online study – a practice prevalent throughout China from February to April, with many schools closed due to early coronavirus outbreaks.
On Wednesday, Beijing officials said at a news conference that the city’s university entrance exams will go ahead as scheduled on July 7. Officials said students would stay home for two weeks before sitting for exams.
Companies and factories are allowed to remain open, but employees are encouraged to work from home, according to a government statement.
The city is reintroducing stringent access rules in and out of all residential communities, requiring visitors to register and check their temperatures.
This is after the coronavirus cases were confirmed in the markets, with 29 residential communities around Zinfady and two other food markets in the city under strict lockdowns.
CNN’s Shawn Deng contributed to the reporting.