China reports 76 virus cases on a daily basis, the highest number since January.
China reported 76 new coronavirus cases on Monday, the highest daily increase since January, with 40 domestic transmissions prompting authorities in eastern Jiangsu province to test millions.
The virus, which first appeared in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, has a zero-risk strategy in Beijing. When small clusters appear, it locks down cities and conducts mass tests.
Hundreds of thousands of people are being held hostage in Nanjing, the provincial capital of Jiangsu, as authorities conduct tests on the city’s 9.2 million residents following an outbreak linked to its airport last week.
The national health commission said in a statement Monday that 39 of the 40 domestic cases were from Jiangsu province and one from Liaoning, and that no new deaths had occurred.
Five people who traveled through Nanjing airport and tested positive after arriving in neighboring Anhui and three other provinces were also identified, raising concerns that the cluster could lead to a new nationwide outbreak.
This prompted Nanjing officials to launch a second round of mass testing for all residents, which will begin on Sunday, in order to identify people who may take longer than usual to manifest symptoms.
Beijing has rushed to contain recent mini-outbreaks in border provinces, aware of the dangers posed by the Delta variant’s rapid spread.
One more case was reported Monday in Liaoning, a northeastern province bordering North Korea, bringing the total number of local transmissions in the region to five since Thursday.
Infections in Yunnan, in the southwest, have been connected to Myanmar, where the military administration that seized power in February is fighting to contain a coronavirus outbreak.
Since June 20, the province has reported 79 cases, with nearly half of them related to Myanmar.
According to a spokesman for the Kachin Independence Army, Beijing has tightened border controls and even provided over 10,000 Covid-19 vaccines to the rebel group.
To stop the virus from spreading, the Yunnan border town of Ruili is using facial recognition to track people’s movements and health status as they enter and exit residential areas, supermarkets, transportation hubs, and other public places.
After being hit by a recent virus outbreak, Guangdong, China’s southern manufacturing hub, is building a 5,000-bed quarantine clinic for international arrivals.
Since the outbreak began in late 2019, China has registered 92,605 viral cases and 4,636 deaths.