China’s claims that it has managed to overcome the pandemic are fading

The outbreak began after tests on nine July workers at Nanjing Airport turned out to be positive on July 20th. Since then, 171 cases have been identified in Jiangsu Province, and the infections have spread to at least four other provinces.

Geographically, this is the highest spread in a few months, despite aggressive Chinese pandemic containment efforts that have been based on mass testing, closures, and rapid contact tracing.

The virus first appeared in the central city of Wuhan, but China boasted that it had managed to overcome a domestic pandemic and that its economy could recover.

A new outbreak, along with cases penetrating the not-so-sealed border with Myanmar, threatens this claim.

Jiangsu officials quarantined hundreds of thousands of residents, Lu Jing, a member of the epidemic prevention task force, told reporters on Thursday.

“Internet cafes, sports clubs, cinemas, karaoke bars and even libraries in Nanjing are closed,” he said.

In a hurry to prevent the spread of the disease, all 9.2 million people in the city were tested twice. population, he said, adding that a highly contagious strain of delta threatens to complicate pandemic containment efforts.

Southwest Sichuan Province reported three new cases on Thursday, and Beijing reported one case, the first in six months.

A patient living on the outskirts of the Chinese capital received a positive test result after a trip to a theater festival in a tourist-crowded area in central China, health officials said.

The majority of patients who tested positive had already been vaccinated, raising concerns about the effectiveness of the vaccines in combating the new strains.

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China aims to vaccinate by at least 65 percent by the end of the year. of 1.5 billion. its population.

By Wednesday, the country had already spent about $ 1.5 billion. reported doses to the National Health Commission, but did not provide information on the number of people completely vaccinated.

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