Initially observed with nine employees at Nanjing airport, the infection has now infected 171 people in Jiangsu Province, which borders Shanghai, and has spread to at least four other provinces.
The authorities said Thursday that the latest – and limited – outbreak of the Covid-19 virus is now spreading to several provinces in China, including Beijing, in the face of the spread of the most contagious delta strain.
China, where Covid-19 was first detected at the end of 2019, practically contained the epidemic in the spring of 2020. But the most recent outbreak, spotted in Nanjing on July 20, is now the most geographically widespread in the country in months.
How effective are Chinese vaccines?
Initially observed with nine airport employees in the former “southern capital”, the infection has now infected 171 people in Jiangsu Province, which borders Shanghai, and has spread to at least four other provinces.
The majority of those infected have already been vaccinated, according to authorities in Jiangsu, raising concerns about the effectiveness of Chinese vaccines against the Delta strain. The world’s most populous country has already given 1.6 billion doses (only “made in China”) but without specifying how many people have been fully vaccinated. The goal is to vaccinate 65% of the population (1.4 billion people) before the end of the year.
Another contamination has hit the country across its porous border with Burma, threatening its “zero tolerance” policy towards the virus.
New inspection campaign in Nanjing
In Jiangsu, authorities have imposed isolation on hundreds of thousands of residents, said Lu Jing, an official with the provincial epidemiological services.
“Internet cafes, gyms, cinemas, karaoke bars and even bookstores in Nanjing have closed,” he told reporters. The city council announced that the city has already tested double its population of more than 9.2 million, and launched a third screening campaign on Wednesday.
The vast and densely populated province of Sichuan (southwest) reported three cases on Thursday while Beijing announced two, the first in six months in the capital.
A Haussmann-style mansion, the Legendale Hotel, in central Beijing was also closed after an imported case was discovered. On Thursday, staff in full suits disinfected the area around the facility with sprayers.
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