Updated: August 3, 2021 8:18:15 pm
China is once again witnessing a surge in novel coronavirus cases with the spread of the Delta variant. On Tuesday, authorities in Wuhan, where the disease first emerged in late 2019, announced a mass coronavirus testing for its nearly 12 million residents.
Fearing the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant, millions of residents have been confined to their homes as cases have been detected in at least 20 cities and several provinces.
State-run media outlet, Xinhua, reported Monday that the country in July recorded 328 new confirmed cases, a number almost equal to China’s total number over the past five months.
How it started
The recent surge in cases can be traced back to Nanjing, East China’s Jiangsu province, where cleaners at the Nanjing Lukou International Airport tested positive during routine checking. A city official blamed “poor sanitisation and protection after disinfecting a plane from Russia” for the infection, news agency Reuters reported.
The city has launched several initiatives to mitigate the spread of the infections such as a mass testing campaign, including three rounds of nucleic acid testing over its nine districts. According to local media, all flights at the Lukou International Airport have been cancelled since July 30, and anyone leaving Nanjing must present a negative test report.
Zhangjiajie, a city in Central China’s Hunan province, has been recognised as another hotbed of Covid infections, after 10 travelers from Nanjing, who had come to watch a performance, tested positive. State-run Global Times reported that the popular tourist destination has ordered all residents and tourists to not leave the city. At least 13 confirmed cases have been found till August 3.
China has stepped up efforts to contain a new cluster of #COVID19 infections. Top epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan says the recent Delta outbreak remains generally controllable, and Chinese vaccines are effective against the variant. #GLOBALink pic.twitter.com/qFJMyxqQ5m
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) August 3, 2021
From Beijing’s residential complexes to Yangzhou’s mahjong parlours
Another province in central China, Henan has reported new coronavirus cases. The city of Zhengzhou, which witnessed devastating floods in July, reported 13 locally transmitted confirmed Covid-19 cases and 50 asymptomatic cases on Monday. Local media reports state that the rise in cases is linked to an outbreak in a local hospital, where the staff and nurses have tested positive. The city had already been reeling under deaths and injuries due to the severe flooding.
A handful of cases have also been reported from the capital city of Beijing, prompting the authorities to cancel all flights, trains, and buses to the city, South China Morning Post reported. Residential complexes in the Haidian district have been place under lockdown, with public places closed, while nucleic acid testing has been kicked off for the residents.
Meanwhile, the Yangzhou city in East China’s Jiangsu Province identified its mahjong parlours as clusters for Covid-19 infections. Global Times reported that the first confirmed case was a 64-year-old woman, who had travelled from Nanjing and visited three local mahjong parlors to play cards. By Sunday, at least 43 of the confirmed cases were from mahjong parlours.
China has been quick to institute measures to control the outbreak by ramping up testing. Experts have also suggested advancing mass vaccination. According to Global Times, China’s top epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan Saturday said that China needs to vaccinate about 83 percent of its population to achieve herd immunity.
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