China tightens movement clamps in wake of more than 500 Delta strain coronavirus infections

China | 5 Aug 2021 10:48 am

China imposed new travel and movement restrictions across the nation, including in its highly protected capital of Beijing, as a Delta coronavirus strain -driven outbreak grew to over 500 symptomatic infections scattered across 15 provinces and municipalities, Bloomberg reports.

Public transport and taxi services were curtailed in 144 of the worst-hit areas nationwide, while officials limited train service and subway use in Beijing, where three new infections were reported Wednesday.

Hong Kong re-imposed quarantine on travelers from the mainland, though an exception remained for the southern Guangdong province which neighbors the financial city.

Officials reported on Thursday 94 new local infections detected Wednesday, including 32 non symptomatic infections, adding to the country’s broadest coronavirus disease threat since the pathogen first emerged in Wuhan in central Hubei province in late 2019.

Though 61 percent of the population has been vaccinated, China has stuck to its aggressive containment playbook of mass testing and targeted lockdowns in a bid to stamp out the highly infectious variant. In just two weeks, confirmed infections -- people infected and sickened by the virus -- have grown to more than 500.

The infections can be traced back to three cluster areas in China: an outbreak among airport cleaning staff in eastern city Nanjing, another found at a hospital treating patients in Zhengzhou and sporadic patients detected in Yunnan, the province bordering Myanmar.

Delta has spread to Wuhan, which has been virus-free since China contained the initial outbreak there early last year.

The city has detected 12 cases as of August 3 and is currently testing its entire population of 12 million people.

Authorities urged people to cancel business trips and vacations, while some colleges around the country have asked students, especially those from high-risk areas, to delay their return to school for the new semester.


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