As the world grapples with the new Omicron coronavirus variant, China is determined as ever to eliminate Covid-19 within its borders -- but it hasn't been able to achieve that ambitious goal for the past seven weeks. Since October 17, China has reported at least one locally transmitted case everyday, as local outbreaks continue to flare up one after another with increasingly short intermissions.
While its caseload pales in comparison with those of many countries -- including the United States, which is averaging more than 100,000 new cases a day -- the unceasing flareups underscore the growing challenge China faces to keep infections at zero.
For more than a year, China has been highly efficient in curbing local outbreaks with mass testing, snap lockdowns, vigilant surveillance and extensive quarantines -- all the while keeping the border tightly sealed. As proof of the success of these measures, not a single Covid-related death has been reported in the country since late January.