04 Aug 2021, 15:51

China mass testing shows virus cases at six-month high

   BEIJING, Aug 4, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - China on Wednesday reported its highest
daily number of local coronavirus cases in months as mass testing campaigns
uncovered a trail of Delta variant infections, prompting authorities to
heavily restrict travel to major cities.

  Local governments have tested entire cities and locked down millions, with
the official figures on Wednesday revealing 71 new infections -- the most
since January, but a low caseload despite the outbreak spreading to dozens of

  China had previously boasted of its success in crushing Covid-19, allowing
the economy to rebound and normal life to return while swathes of the globe
struggled to douse a pandemic that has killed more than four million people

  But the latest outbreak is threatening that record with nearly 500 domestic
cases reported since mid-July.

  The outbreak, which began when an infection among passengers on a flight
from Moscow spread to airport cleaners in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, has
exposed weaknesses in the country's already strict border containment

  China's immigration authority on Wednesday announced it would stop issuing
passports and other documents needed for exiting the country in "non-
essential and non-emergency" cases.

  That does not yet mean an overseas travel ban for the Chinese public.

  Foreign crew on hundreds of ships have been stopped from disembarking and
changing shifts at Chinese ports.

  The central government has also ordered localities to cut off public
transport and taxis in and out of areas hit by the outbreak, the transport
ministry said at the same press conference.

  - Mass testing -

  Wuhan, where the virus first emerged in 2019, reported its first local
infections in over a year this week and said Tuesday it was "swiftly
launching" testing of all 11 million residents.

  Long lines of residents waited at outdoor testing stations in the summer
heat Tuesday, fanning themselves with paper forms while workers in hazmat
suits took throat samples.

  In Beijing, where the city government reported three new virus cases on
Wednesday, authorities blocked entrances to a compound where one of the
patients lived, while residents reached over fences to receive parcels from
delivery drivers.

  Nanjing has tested its 9.2 million residents three times after shutting
down gyms and cinemas and closing off residential compounds.

  And the tourist destination of Zhangjiajie in central Hunan province, where
infected travellers who had been in Nanjing attended a theatre performance,
abruptly announced Tuesday that no one would be allowed to exit the city
after it emerged as an infection hotspot.

  Meanwhile, Shanghai is investigating a Delta case detected in an airport
worker this week.

  Authorities said on Wednesday the infection was not linked to other
domestic cases and that they suspected the worker had been exposed after
removing protective equipment while in a "contaminated area".

  • Latest News
  • Most View
Beta Version