Experts in China have voiced concerns about the newest outbreak in the nation, which the spread of the Delta variant has fueled. New COVID-19 cases have been detected in at least 18 Chinese provinces.
Officials from China's Ministry of Health stated on Sunday that the current outbreak is the most serious since the first epidemic in Wuhan. According to the experts, more efforts are needed to close the gaps in infection control operations, who also stressed the need to move forward with the mass vaccination campaign.
Chinese officials test and impose additional travel restrictions
As China tackles the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant, officials are speeding up COVID-19 testing and proposing additional restrictions. The current COVID-19 outbreak in China began in late July in Nanjing, a city of more than nine million people.
Per Newsweek via MSN, officials have put hundreds of thousands of people under lockdown and conducted three rounds of testing on the city's population. The Nanjing outbreak has spread to 15 other locations after being discovered at an airport.
The Nanjing Lukou International Airport has halted all flights until August 11 to prevent the virus from spreading further. Zhangjiajie, in China's Hunan province, has taken steps to keep its inhabitants safe.
City officials issued stay-at-home orders, and residents were advised not to go to work. Non-essential travel on city roadways has also been prohibited.
The Nanjing epidemic has been connected to cleaners who worked on a flight from Russia with an infected passenger. The country recorded 75 new COVID-19 infections on Sunday. Overall, there are 1,022 cases of the virus in the nation.
The newest outbreaks are still in their early phases; and the issue is under control, according to the nation's epidemiologsts. The country's leading respiratory disease specialist has voiced alarm about the new outbreak in Zhangjiajie City, amid a recent rise of COVID-19 cases in specific locations in central China.
China and other Asian nation's battle against COVID-19 Delta variant
Zhangjiajie is a popular tourist destination in Hunan Province, where at least eight confirmed cases had been discovered as of Sunday. Top disease specialist Zhong Nanshan stated at a Saturday event that it's still unclear if the outbreak in Zhangjiajie would spread farther within the smaller city, as per Big News Network.
COVID-19 cases related to the tourist attraction were discovered in at least seven cities across five provinces, including Beijing, Sichuan, Liaoning, and Jiangsu. This viral outbreak in Zhangjiajie was linked to the cases at Nanjing Lukou Airport, where the Delta variant was discovered.
Meanwhile, Hebei province and Inner Mongolia conduct tests and contact tracing every time persons travel from Nanjing. Another epidemic erupted in Yunnan province when Chinese tourists who visited neighboring Myanmar - where cases of the Delta variant are on the rise - tested positive when they returned home.
Many nations that depended on border restrictions to keep cases low have found the Delta variant, which originated in India and is far more transmissible than the original form of COVID-19, particularly hard to control. With poor vaccination rates, such nations - the most of which are in Asia - are now witnessing cases surge to near-record highs, prompting authorities to impose lockdowns.
Cases have skyrocketed in recent weeks in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia; all of which were previously regarded as viral success stories. Cases are also at or near all-time highs in Japan and South Korea although strong local lockdown measures have halted the type of exponential rise observed elsewhere.
Australia is also grappling with a Delta outbreak, with Sydney presently under its most prolonged lockdown since the virus' original outbreak in 2020, Daily Mail reported.