• Friday, Jan 27, 2023
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

China reports more Covid-19 cases; some cities kick off new tests

  • Published at 03:57 am August 9th, 2021
This photo taken on Thursday, August 5, 2021 shows a staff member being given a test for Covid-19 at the gym of a company in Wuhan, China AFP

The highly infectious Delta variant has been detected in more than a dozen cities since July 20

China reported on Monday more Covid-19 infections in its latest outbreak of the disease, while some cities added rounds of mass testing in the bid to stamp out locally-transmitted infections.

The highly infectious Delta variant has been detected in more than a dozen cities since July 20, and officials have ordered local governments to keep close track of infections and close loopholes in control efforts.

"A laxity of mind should be firmly overcome," the National Health Commission (NHC) said on Sunday, calling for the outbreak to be curbed.

Analysts see the Delta variant as the biggest test of China's zero-Covid strategy since last year's initial outbreak, but expect authorities will quash it before it gets out of hand, even if at some economic cost.

China should not give up strict controls as it uses targeted containment and broad vaccination to defeat the virus, former health minister Gao Qiang said.

China would stick to its strategy of cutting transmission chains with the goal of finding and controlling the virus as soon as possible, Gao added.

In a show of action against local governments deemed negligent in control efforts, China has removed some officials in the cities of Nanjing, Yantai, Zhengzhou and Zhangjiajie.

The eastern city of Yangzhou, which is fighting a major cluster, urged its officials to do better after an infected visitor to a testing centre spread the virus to others.

The coronavirus pandemic has killed at least 4,311,228 and over 203 million people worldwide since the virus first emerged in late 2019, according to an AFP compilation of official data. 

More infections

On Sunday's 125 new confirmed infections, including 94 locally transmitted cases, were up from the previous day's figure of 96, with 81 locally transmitted, while the rest were imported from abroad, the NHC said on Monday.

Yangzhou has started a fifth round of mass tests, city authorities said on Monday, the day Zhengzhou is expected to wrap up sample collection for its third round of citywide tests.

The eastern city of Nanjing, hit hard in the July outbreak, has started a third round of targeted testing in some areas after three rounds citywide, despite fewer than five daily local cases since August 2.

The city of Nantong, close to Yangzhou and Nanjing has yet to report any new local case since late July, but has also begun mass testing as a preparatory drill.

The central city of Wuhan, where the Covid-19 outbreak first emerged in late 2019, reported two local confirmed cases for Sunday, the lowest daily figure since its first local Delta infections on August 2.

Citywide tests begun in Wuhan last week showed no large-scale spread from the latest cluster, a doctor at the city's Tongji hospital told reporters on Sunday.

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