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Beijing's new 'patient zero': 'Grandpa' who went to Xinfadi market to buy fish for his children

Chinese media has named a man who bought fish at a massive seafood market as the 'patient zero' of a new coronavirus outbreak currently ravaging Beijing.

Tang, 52, was the first person to be diagnosed with COVID-19 in the new waves of cases in the Chinese capital city.

He told a reporter from his sickbed he had visited the wholesale centre because his children 'wanted to eat fish'.

China has further tightened its quarantine measures out of fear of a second coronavirus epidemic after Beijing city recorded 158 confirmed cases within a week.

Tang, 52, has been recorded last Thursday as the capital city's 'patient zero' of a new infection cluster which is linked to the massive food trading hub in Beijing. He is pictured in hospital

A grandpa who was the first person to be diagnosed with the coronavirus in Beijing's fresh outbreak had visited the Xinfadi wholesale market to buy fish for his children. Police have parked outside entrances to the Xinfadi wholesale market after it was forced to close

Footage released by Beijing TV Station shows Mr Tang being treated at a local hospital as he tells reporters about his trip to the Xinfadi, a sprawling seafood wholesale market, on June 3.

The man has been nicknamed by media as 'the grandpa of Xicheng' after the district where he lives. His home is in the same area as the headquarters of China's central government as well as multiple popular tourist attractions. 

'I went to buy some fish. My children wanted to have fish,' the frail patient said while lying on a hospital bed.

'I thought I'd go buy some, and then I got hit [by the coronavirus].'

Mr Tang went to a local hospital last Wednesday after suffering fever symptoms. He was diagnosed as a confirmed case on the same day after testing positive for the coronavirus.

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.      

Fears of a looming second spike in China have been fuelled by the escalating COVID-19 outbreak which saw a total of 158 confirmed cases so far. People who had their car number plates recorded in the area of the Xinfadi market where a new cluster emerged last week

Cases linked to the food trading hub have spiked from Saturday, prompting officials to impose strict measures on its 21million residents to battle the fresh outbreak. Pictured: Beijing residents wearing face masks as they shop for live seafood at a Carrefour supermarket

Beijing slaps coronavirus checkpoints on all residential complexes 

Beijing is resuming coronavirus checkpoints on all residential complexes after the city raised its emergency response, Zhang Ge, Beijing's top coronavirus official, has told reporters today.

Citizens need to register their information and have their temperatures taken before entering or leaving their compounds, according to the authority.

These blockades are guarded 24/7 by officers who will check people's IDs and scan people's health codes before allowing anyone to pass through.

Residents are required to go through facial recognition cameras or show digital passes if they wish to enter or leave the compound.

Complexes deemed as 'medium' or 'high risk' will be sealed off 'if necessary', officials say. 

Non-residents and their vehicles are banned from entering these areas.   

His case was reported by officials in Beijing on June 11 as the city's first native COVID-19 infection in nearly two months.

The man said that he had not left the city for the past two weeks. He did not have close contact with anyone travelling in Beijing.

Mr Tang later told the authority all the places he had visited in the last two weeks, including the Xinfadi food market, reported Chinese media.

He also provided a list of 38 people he had close contacts with during that period.

Mr Tang's infection was followed by two more confirmed cases which were reported last Friday, prompting the officials to activate an emergency response.

The two patients were said to have been to the Xinfadi market as well.

Cases linked to the food trading hub have spiked from Saturday, prompting officials to impose strict measures on its 21million residents to battle the fresh outbreak.

Officials claimed that the virus found in Xinfadi originated from Europe, but they were still unravelling how the killer bug was transmitted into the market. 

Residents have been urged not to travel outside the capital after the outbreak spread to four other Chinese provinces.

Thousands of flights have also been cancelled at Beijing's airports and the city's emergency response level has been raised to its second-highest.

Close contacts were being traced to locate all possible cases as quickly as possible amid strengthened testing and other prevention and control measures, Hu Hejian said Thursday.

Local residents are pictured receiving nucleic acid tests at a makeshift testing centre in Beijing

The city has closed its borders to all confirmed cases, suspected cases, patients with fever and close contacts from abroad and other province, according to city officials today. The picture taken today shows a security guard taking a woman's temperature in a Beijing neighbourhood

People who have had contact with the Xinfadi Wholesale Market or someone who has, line up for a nucleic acid test for COVID-19 at a temporary testing centre on June 17 in Beijing

Anyone who has been near the market since May 30, along with their close contacts, will be quarantined at home for 14 days and tested at least twice, city government official Zhang Ge said.

The city has closed its borders to all confirmed cases, suspected cases, patients with fever and close contacts from abroad and other provinces, Zhang said.

China already has barred most foreigners from entering the country. Even foreign diplomats arriving from abroad must undergo two weeks of isolation at home, he said.

All indoor public venues, including clubhouses and party rooms in apartment complexes, will remain closed, Zhang said.

Offices, restaurants and hotels in 'high risk' area will be shut down, he said. Flights at the city's two airports have already been cut by half.

As of today, China has recorded a total of 83,293 confirmed COVID-19 infections and 4,634 deaths.

As of today, China has recorded a total of 83,293 confirmed COVID-19 infections and 4,634 deaths. Residents are seen receiving nucleic acid tests at a makeshift testing centre in Beijing

People who had their car number plates recorded in the area of the Xinfadi market where a new cluster emerged last week, wait in line to do swab tests at a testing centre in Beijing

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