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Beijing’s coronavirus outbreak is under control, Chinese health expert says

A Chinese epidemic control worker wears a protective suit and mask as he and volunteers direct people at a site where authorities were performing nucleic acid tests for COVID-19 on citizens who have had contact with the the Xinfadi Wholesale Market or someone who has, at an outdoor sports center June 15, 2020 in Beijing, China.

Kevin Frayer | Getty Images

Wu Zunyou, the chief epidemiologist of China’s Center for Diseases Prevention and Control, said Thursday the capital’s recent coronavirus outbreak has been brought under control.

The expert added at a press briefing that there may be new virus cases in the coming days, but that these would not be newly transmitted cases, but ones discovered during the process of testing.

After more than 50 days without domestically transmitted Covid-19 cases in Beijing, the city reported one case on Thursday last week. Another six emerged Friday, and by Monday, a total of 106 new confirmed cases had been recorded over five days. The city reported 21 cases for Wednesday, according to Reuters, which was down from 31 the day before.

The bulk of the infections trace back to a major wholesale produce market called Xinfadi, located on the city outskirts, about 8.7 miles (14 kilometers) southwest of Tiananmen Square at the center of Beijing.

Chu Junwei, an official of Beijing’s southwestern Fengtai district, told reporters at the weekend that the new cases had put the district on a “wartime emergency mode.” The city’s government locked down residential areas and has since raised its alert setting, closed schools and limited travel. 

The announcement Thursday pushed U.S. stock futures higher during early morning trade. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 67 points, implying an opening jump of about 107 points. Meanwhile, S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures were both slightly higher.

The coronavirus has killed nearly 450,000 people and infected over 8 million since it first emerged from Wuhan, China at the end of last year. The reemergence of the virus cases in China’s capital over the weekend added further uncertainty for businesses and consumers, and weighed on global investor sentiment.

—CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng contributed to this article.

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