Delta variant: China witnessing a huge spurt in fresh COVID-19 cases

RNS/Agencies: Fresh Covid-19 cases due to Delta variant are on the rise in China, with 15 cities, including the capital Beijing, reporting clusters of positive cases. It is the largest domestic propagation after the outbreak of the virus in Wuhan in December 2019.

According to the media reports, Nanjing has suspended all flights after a number of airport staff tested positive for the disease. Though the number of new cases is still in the few hundreds, concerns rose over the vast spread of the delta variant in different provinces.

Inter-provincial transport links have been suspended in Nanjing. The most worrying thing for officials is that the cases in capital Beijing emerge suddenly after 175 days of their last case. Two cases were reported on Thursday, who came back from Zhangjiajie, a popular tourist resort in the province of Hunan.

As health officials scramble to contain a rapidly spreading Delta variant outbreak that has been linked to the eastern city of Nanjing, authorities have sealed communities and instituted nucleic acid testing for residents in Beijing’s northern Changping district.

On Friday, India’s ambassador to China and other top diplomats at an international conference said that the first step on the road to a post-pandemic world was learning to live in the present.

He emphasised that this pandemic was not the last one to strike humanity. This meant finding a path that was less reliant on massive lockdowns, crippling travel restrictions, and an intense undercurrent of suspicion about everything.

Notably, China is yet to open its skies for air travel from India and several other countries, and most of the Beijing-bound international flights are diverted to other cities where passengers had to undergo 21 days quarantine before entering the national capital.

According to China’s National Health Commission, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Chinese mainland was 92,875 as of Thursday. This includes 932 active patients, 25 of whom are in severe condition. The virus has so far claimed 4,636 lives since last year in the country.

China has so far vaccinated about 40 per cent of its population, according to official media.

The coronavirus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019. It then spread rapidly across China and the world and was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation in March 2020. Globally Covid-19 has infected more than 196,794,000 people and killed over 4,202,000 people, according to Johns Hopkins University Covid-19 tracker.

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