BEIJING has announced it is immediately shutting all schools as China desperately attempts to contain a second outbreak of coronavirus.

A further 36 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the capital yesterday, bringing the total of new transmissions since June 12 to 79. After hope that the country had eradicated the virus, China has now been forced to implement urgent measures in a desperate attempt to stop a second wave of coronavirus wreaking havoc across the country.

It has been reported that Chinese authorities have raised the pandemic response lebel in the whole of Beijing to level two, this means that people will have to be tested for the virus before being allowed to leave the city.

The decision to close schools and limit people leaving Beijing signals the severity of the growing crisis.

The response by authorities to the latest outbreak can be compared to similar resurgences in Wuhan and in the country’s northeast region.

But in Beijing, the stakes are much higher.

The capital is the powerhouse of the nation's economy and its political centre.

If the centre doesn't hold many in the leadership fear that they will not be able to resurrect the country's economy in the post-pandemic era.

The Chinese Communist Party, CCP, have been at pains to frame the latest outbreak as coming from "imported salmon from Europe".

The evidence that the virus can survive on cold meat for the long duration of transit from Europe to China is scant.

However, China has started testing all shipments of imported meat from today.

This is because the current outbreak can be traced to a wholesale seafood and meat market in the capital.

After CCP officials reported the known 79 cases over the past four days, the country has seen the biggest concentration of infections since the dark days of February.

The spate of new cases prompted officials in many parts of Beijing to swiftly bring back tough counter-epidemic measures.

At first three districts entering "war-time mode".

But now the Chinese capital seems to be descending into another full lockdown.

Measures imposed so far have included erecting round-the-clock security checkpoints, closing schools and sports venues, and reinstating temperature checks at malls, supermarkets, and office buildings.

There have been several economic reports that China’s manufacturing economy is contracting because of both a domestic and international fall in demand for materials and goods.

Yesterday Chinese president Xi Jinping celebrated his 67th birthday, he had planned to use the occasion to celebrate his leadership and victory over the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the latest Beijing surge in infections has frustrated these plans.

On the same day as Xi Jinping's birthday the country's education commission announced on its WeChat social media account that all schools would resume online teaching only from Wednesday and that universities would also suspend the return of students.

Source: Express.co.uk