onsdag 15. september 2021

China rushes to contain 'school centered' Delta outbreak before major holiday season

Chinese authorities are rushing to contain a widening Delta variant outbreak in the southern province of Fujian ahead of a major upcoming national holiday, when hundreds of millions of people are expected to travel across the country -- creating a window for the highly infectious variant to spread far and wide.

The outbreak, dubbed China's "first school-centered flare-up" by state media, was originally detected Friday at a elementary school in the city of Putian. It has since spread throughout the province, infecting more than 100 people in three cities. The National Health Commission (NHC) reported 59 cases in Fujian for Monday, including 24 in Putian and 32 in Xiamen, a major coastal city popular with tourists. On Tuesday, the two cities launched mass Covid testing for all residents.

Putian has about 3 million residents, while Xiamen has a population of 5 million. Both cities have ordered residents not to leave town for non-essential travel. Those with legitimate reasons to leave must produce a negative coronavirus test taken within the past 48 hours. Long-distance coaches departing from the two cities have also been suspended.