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Coronavirus China: Seafood market that sparked new outbreak

Chinese state media footage has revealed the interiors of a sprawling wholesale food market for the first time since it was linked to a new COVID-19 outbreak in the city last month.

The Xinfadi market has stayed shut since June 13 after the capital city had reported its first native infection in nearly two months.

The rare footage shows hazmat-clad workers disinfecting empty stalls and disposing of frozen meat and vegetables.

Xinfadi, a sprawling wholesale food market that sparked a surge of coronavirus infections in Beijing has been revealed for the first time since the outbreak exploded in mid-June

The Xinfadi market linked to the Chinese capital's latest health crisis has been shut since June 13 after Beijing reported its first native infection in nearly two months. The picture shows a health worker disinfecting a row of empty stalls at the Xinfadi market while it has been closed

The inside of the closed trading hub, Xinfadi, has only been unveiled today in rare footage as hazmat-clad workers are seen disinfecting empty stalls and disposing of frozen meat

It comes after city officials have recorded only one confirmed case today, bringing the local COVID-19 infection tally to 329.

Beijing has also lifted several lockdowns imposed on residential compounds to control the fresh coronavirus outbreak and reported just three new cases in the city on Wednesday, raising hopes that the cluster had been brought under control.

State broadcaster CCTV released the video today, unveiling the Xinfadi market for the first time since the infection cluster escalated.

Dozens of health workers donning protective suits are seen spraying disinfectant to empty shelves and lorries at the food hub of Beijing.

Around 5,000 vehicles owned by market vendors have been left on the site after thousands of workers were quarantined. 

State broadcaster CCTV released the video today, unveiling the Xinfadi market for the first time since the infection cluster escalated. Two workers are seen removing frozen meat

Around 5,000 vehicles owned by market vendors have been left on the site after thousands of workers have been put under quarantine following the outbreak. Pictured, hazmat-clad health workers disinfect empty lorries left on the site after the Xinfadi was shut due to the outbreak

It comes after city officials have recorded only one confirmed case today, bringing the local COVID-19 infection tally to 329. The picture shows part of the Xinfadi market in Beijing

Twelve lorries are also driving around spraying disinfectant at the outdoor areas of the food trading hub, Mr Zhang said. The picture shows one of those trucks operating at the Xinfadi

A total of 150 health workers have been thoroughly disinfecting the market daily since June 17, according to Zhang Liubo, an official from China's CDC.

Twelve lorries are also driving around spraying disinfectant at the outdoor areas of the food trading hub, Mr Zhang said.

About half of the meat and vegetables stored in the market have been removed from the site, according to the official.

A final round of disinfecting will be carried out after all the food products have been removed from the premises, Mr Zhang added.

He told CCTV: 'Our current disinfectant work is mainly to safeguard the disposal process of [produce].

'This place will be able to resume once the final disinfection is done. We hope it would happen as soon as possible.'

Empty shelves are pictured at the Xinfadi market that sparked a new coronavirus outbreak in the city. It comes after city officials in Beijing have recorded only one confirmed case today

A total of 150 health workers have been thoroughly disinfecting the market daily since June 17, according to Zhang Liubo, an official from China's CDC. Pictured, hazmat-clad health workers disinfect empty lorries left on the site after the Xinfadi was shut due to the COVID-19 outbreak

The vast majority of cases in Beijing's coronavirus outbreak have been linked to the sprawling Xinfadi market (pictured) that supplies about 80 per cent of Beijing's fresh produce and meat

The vast majority of cases in Beijing's coronavirus outbreak have been linked to the sprawling Xinfadi market that supplies about 80 per cent of Beijing's fresh produce and meat, sparking concern about food safety.

Chinese officials have claimed that the virus strain found in the market came from Europe, but they are still unravelling how the disease was brought into Xinfadi.

The Chinese capital had closed off dozens of residential compounds and carried out mass testing last month since the outbreak exploded in the city, fuelling fears of a second wave in the country.

The government has also imposed a Wuhan-style lockdown on nearly half a million people in a town 90 miles from Beijing over the weekend after detecting new cases linked to the market.

What is Beijing's Xinfadi?

The file photo shows an employee chopping pork meat at the Xinfadi wholesale market on February 19

The Xinfadi market, located in the south-western Beijing district Fengtai, is billed by Chinese media as the 'food hub' of the capital city.

With a size of 1.12 square kilometres (equivalent to 157 football fields), the Xinfadi market is Beijing's largest wholesale market, supplying about 80 per cent of the city's fresh produce.

It is also reportedly Asia's largest wholesale market for agricultural products.

Nearly 40,000 tonnes of vegetables and fruit are traded here daily, according to state media CGTN.

The enormous trading hub is nicknamed the 'vegetable basket' or 'fruit bowl' of the capital city.      

But the cluster appears to have been under control after the authorities have reported only one infection in Beijing today.

However, Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiology expert at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters in June that the new outbreak had been 'brought under control'.

As of Thursday, Beijing has recorded a total of 329 infections since June 11. Four patients have recovered and no death has been reported.

Nationwide, China detected three new cases today, bringing the coronavirus infection tally to 83,537. The death toll remains at 4,634.

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