Beijing district on alert after new virus cluster

The southwestern Beijing district of Fengtai has put itself on a "wartime" footing

after a cluster of coronavirus infections centered around a market sparked fears of a new wave of COVID-19.

A district official told a briefing that 45 people out of 517 tested with throat swabs at the Xinfadi market had tested positive.

The market was shut down at 3 a.m. local time on Saturday, after two men working at a meat research center who had recently visited the market were reported to have the virus.

It was not immediately clear how they had been infected.

11 neighborhoods in the vicinity of the market--which claims to be the largest agricultural wholesale market in Asia,

had been locked down with 24-hour guards put in place.

A city spokesman told the briefing that all six COVID-19 patients confirmed in Beijing on Friday had visited the market.

The capital has suspended sports events and tourists from other parts of China, effective immediately

and has dropped plans to reopen schools on Monday for students in grades one through three because of the new cases.