Tips: Experts Answer Key Questions About COVID-19

Why is Xinfadi wholesale market suspected to be the source of the latest COVID-19 outbreak in Beijing?

Normally, the lower the temperature, the longer virus can survive. In such wholesale markets, seafood is stored frozen, enabling the virus to survive for a long time, resulting in increased chances of its transmission to people. Additionally, a large number of people enter and exit such places, and a single person entering with the corona virus can cause the spread of the virus in these places. As all the confirmed cases in this outbreak are found to be linked with the market, attention was given to the market.

What is the source of transmission of the virus in the market? Is it people, foodstuffs such as meat, fish or other things sold in the market?

Wu: It is very difficult to conclude the exact source of the transmission. We cannot conclude that the salmon sold in the market is the source just based on the finding that cutting boards for salmon in the market tested positive for the virus. There may be other possibilities such as that one owner of a cutting board was infected, or other food sold by an owner of a cutting board tainted it. Or a buyer from other cities caused the virus’ spread in the market. The flow of people in the market was big, and many things were sold. It is not likely the exact source of transmission will be found in a short time.

Before the outbreak, Beijing had reported no new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases for more than 50 days, and the corona virus should not have originated in the market. If it is confirmed after investigation that none of the new cases of people who tested positive for the virus got infected in Beijing, then it is likely that the virus was introduced into Beijing from overseas or other places in China via tainted goods.

Post time: Jun-15-2020