More provinces in China are fighting Covid-19 than at any time since the deadly pathogen first emerged in Wuhan in 2019.
Local infections have been found in 19 of 31 provinces in the world’s second-largest economy. The highly-infectious delta variant is hurtling across the country despite the increasingly aggressive measures that local officials have enacted in a bid to thwart it.
China reported 93 new local cases on Wednesday, and 11 asymptomatic infections. Three more provinces detected cases: central Chongqing and Henan, and Jiangsu on the eastern coast.
Beijing reported nine infections on Wednesday, including one that was earlier reported as asymptomatic. The capital city’s total case count in the current wave now stands at 38, the highest since a pre-delta outbreak last January and February.
The severe responses needed to eradicate the delta variant have led several other countries with zero-tolerance practices, including Singapore and Australia, to shift focus and instead rely on high vaccination rates to live with the virus as endemic.
Government officials quarantined kids in two schools after a teacher was found to be infected. Another 16 were shut since their staff members might have been present at the vaccination venue where the infected teacher recently received a booster shot.
Chongqing, a municipality new to the latest outbreak, initiated mass testing overnight as officials aim to act decisively during the “golden 24 hours” after the virus is first detected.
China could go much further in its bid to eradicate Covid-19. Shanghai Disneyland on Sunday tested more than 30,000 people, keeping visitors at the park until nearly midnight, after one infected person was found to have been there.
The global trend of countries learning to coexist with the virus, Zhong, who helped the government quell many outbreaks since the pandemic began, defended China’s Covid Zero approach.
China’s top health expert, Zhong Nanshan, is confident the country can contain the outbreak in a month’s time, according to an interview with state media CGTN.