After months of mass testing and travel curbs and with no sign of the Delta variant abating, China is putting millions under lockdown again.
As of Monday, August 2, the country had reported infected cases in 20 cities and more than a dozen provinces, increasing from 15 last week. Monday also saw 55 new locally transmitted patients.
The newest resurgence of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus was assumed to have begun on July 20, when the Delta strain was discovered during a regular cleaning at Nanjing Lukou International Airport.
Local authorities attributed the cause to careless protective measures.
“The airport faced problems such as poor supervision and unprofessional management, and prevention and control measures were not implemented effectively,” said China’s top anti-corruption body, the Commission for Discipline Inspection.
“After their work was complete, due to cleaning and protective measures not meeting standards, it’s possible some staffers got infected, causing the virus to spread among cleaning staff,” said Ding Jie, deputy director-general at the Nanjing Center for Disease Control and Prevention, per Fox News.
Since then, more cities have started to report more cases. As of Monday, the country had had more than 200 newly infected patients.
Zhang Wenhong, director of Shanghai’s Huashan Hospital’s infectious disease department, was positive the situation was still under control.
“There has been no major community spread of cases outside Nanjing, which suggests the outbreak is still controllable,” he said, according to South China Morning Post. “… we should be confident that the outbreak will be contained within weeks if the control measures are effective.”
All flights from Nanjing had been canceled until Aug. 11 in an attempt to contain the virus. Major cities, including Beijing, tested millions of residents while enforcing rigorous quarantine measures in high-risk places.
During the high summer holiday travel season, Beijing has cut all train, bus, and air ties with places where coronavirus infections have been detected and have closed its doors to travelers, except for “essential travellers” with a negative nucleic acid test, the Guardian reported.
Residents reported that they were informed they would be monitored for at least two weeks and tested every three days.
“Residents must not relax from preventing and controlling the epidemic,” said Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the Beijing Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, per South China Morning Post.
He also added that residents of Beijing should not leave the capital.
“We advise people to reduce travel outside the capital in the near future, focusing instead on the suburbs and short and medium trips to the outdoors, in less crowded open areas, country parks and only with families,” he said.
On Monday, the central city of Zhuzhou in Hunan province ordered approximately 1.2 million citizens to remain at home for three days as part of a citywide testing and vaccination drive.
Close to Zhuzhou, the tourist attraction of Zhangjiajie had reported an outbreak that began last month. As a result, a lockdown in the city was announced last Friday, July 30.
Zhengzhou of Henan province had its Changping district of 41,000 people locked down last week.
Hainan, a renowned tourist destination, was also reporting new patients on Monday.
In Wuhan, eight new cases in the city were reported since the first outbreak in 2019, prompting authorities to test all 11 million residents.