China reported 57 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, the highest daily figure since April, as concerns grow about a resurgence of the disease.
The domestic outbreak in China had been brought largely under control through strict lockdowns that were imposed early this year — but a new outbreak has been linked to a meat and vegetable market in south Beijing.
The National Health Commission said 36 of the new cases were domestic infections in the capital.
The other two domestic infections reported Sunday were in northeastern Liaoning province, and local health officials said they were close contacts of the Beijing cases.
The new cluster of domestic infections has prompted fresh lockdowns with people ordered to stay home in 11 residential estates near to the market.
The cases are the first in Beijing in two months.
AFP reporters saw hundreds of police officers, many wearing masks and gloves, and dozens of paramilitary police deployed at the market.
The new cases have prompted worries about the safety of the food supply chain and some other markets in the city have also been closed.
Beijing’s market supervision authorities ordered a city-wide food safety inspection focusing on fresh and frozen meat, poultry and fish in supermarkets, warehouses and catering services.
Nine nearby schools and kindergartens have been closed and Beijing has delayed the return of students to primary schools.
Sporting events, group dining and cross-provincial tour groups have also been stopped.
The rest of the cases reported Sunday were brought into the country by Chinese nationals returning home from overseas.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)