Beijing reports 7 new COVID-19 cases, all locally transmitted

A medical worker wearing a protective suit takes a swap at a temporary COVID-19 testing site

China imposed a strict lockdown on almost half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh coronavirus outbreak on Sunday, as authorities warned it was soon to "relax" over the new cluster of cases.

Chinese health officials said on Sunday that Anxin county - about 150 kilometers (90 miles) from Beijing - will be "fully enclosed and controlled", - the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. The county is located in the Hebei province which surrounds Beijing, where a new COVID-19 cluster has emerged in recent weeks.

Only one person from each family will be allowed to go out once a day to purchase necessities such as food and medicine, the county's epidemic prevention task force said in a statement.

No non-residents residents will be allowed to enter buildings, communities or villages.

As of Saturday, China reported a total of 84,725 COVID-19 cases, with 4,642 deaths.

Beijing reported its first case from the outbreak at Xinfadi market on June 11 and 311 people in the city of over 20 million have tested positive for the virus since then.

Almost a third of the cases so far have been linked to one beef and mutton section in the market, where workers are being made to quarantine for a month, city officials said Sunday.

The guidelines stipulate that residents with respiratory infections should avoid going to public places and if they do under unavoidable circumstances, they must wear masks, reports Xinhua news agency.

China follows other nations in reinstating lockdown restrictions after a spike in cases.

The NHC also reported six new asymptomatic cases as of the end of June 28, compared with seven such cases a day earlier. The virus has since sickened 10 million globally and killed over half a million.

In general, China has successfully "flattened the curve" in recent months.

Mainland China reported four new so-called imported cases on Friday, infections linked to travellers arriving from overseas.

The new outbreak in Beijing has prompted fears of a resurgence of the virus.

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