Beijing Reports New Coronavirus Case After 55 Days of No New Cases

Beijing reported a new confirmed case of the novel coronavirus Thursday, following 55 consecutive days without any new cases.

Health officials in the Chinese capital said at a press conference that the 42-year-old city resident was sent to the Beijing Ditan Hospital, which is designated for COVID-19 patients, and that two close family members are under observation, according to the Global Times, a Chinese Communist Party newspaper.

"The case reminds us of the importance, complexity and uncertainty of epidemic prevention and control work in Beijing," Pang Xinghuo, vice director of Beijing's Center of Disease Control and Prevention, said Thursday. "The case sounds an alarm for us."

Wang Guangfa, a health expert at Beijing's Peking University First Hospital, told the Global Times there is a need to "stay alert."

"The most important thing at present is to trace the virus source of the case and cut the spread of the virus," Wang said.

According to a report from the National Health Commission, the country, with over 1.3 billion people, saw only 11 new confirmed cases Wednesday, based on information gathered from 31 provinces. The health commission now puts the total of confirmed infections since the start of the pandemic at 83,057, of which 62 are current cases, prior to the discovery of the new case in Beijing.

The commission also said that 78,361 people had been discharged after being "cured" and that 4,634 cases have resulted in death.

The pandemic began in Wuhan, China, at the end of last year before spreading to the rest of the world. There are now 7.4 million confirmed cases worldwide, resulting in 417,174 deaths attributed to COVID-19, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. There have also been over 3.48 million recoveries from the disease.

In a radio interview this past Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was critical of how the Chinese government initially handled its outbreak. He said it did a "disservice" by not allowing scientists to speak out "openly and transparently."

"Because at the beginning of the outbreak, they were claiming that this was just animal-to-human transmission...and there really wasn't a human-to-human transmission at all. And they held that line for a few weeks. And then it became very clear when the scientists were able to talk about it that, in fact, there was human-to-human transmission," Fauci said.

Newsweek reached out to the China's National Health Commission for comment but did not hear back before publication.

Daily Life In Beijing After Coronavirus Outbreak
A young cyclist wearing a mask in Beijing on June 9. The capital city reported a new confirmed case of the coronavirus Thursday, following 55 consecutive days without any new cases. Fred Lee/Getty