On Monday (August 2), the Chinese authorities directed the 1.2 million residents of ZhuZhou city in the Hunan province to stay at home in light of the growing cases of Wuhan Coronavirus.
As per a report in Guardian, people have been asked to adhere to the strict lockdown for a period of three days after the Covid-19 situation in the city turned ‘grim’ and ‘complicated.’ The recent outbreak of Coronavirus cases has been found to be linked to a cluster in Nanjing city in Jiangsu province where more than 360 cases have been reported in the past 2 weeks. It is believed that 9 cleaners, working at the Nanjing Lukou International Airport, who tested positive for Covid-19 on July 20 have been the primary source of the outbreak. The workers had cleaned a plane, which arrived in Jiangsu from Russia.
On Friday (July 30), a strict lockdown was imposed in the city of Zhangjiajie near Zhuzhou after three tourists brought the virus to the city last month. While speaking about the matter, respiratory disease expert Zhong Nanshan said, “Zhangjiajie has now become the new ground zero for China’s epidemic spread.” The officials are now tracking the 5000 people who had attended the theatre event in Zhangjiajie and travelled to their home cities. Reportedly, one performance alone was attended by a whopping 2000 people.
Coronavirus outbreak in Zhengzhou and Beijing
In Zhengzhou city of Henan province, all 10 million residents were asked to get tested after 30 cases of Covid-19 was detected. It is believed that two Coronavirus-positive cleaners at a hospital in Zhengzhou, with recent travel history to foreign countries, have been the source of the outbreak. The Chinese officials have asked people to not travel to Coronavirus infected areas and are tracking those with recent travel history to Nanjing and Zhangjiajie. On Sunday, the residents of Beijing were asked to avoid non-essential travel amidst the rising cases.
The Changping district of Beijing have been locked down about 41,000 residents in 9 housing clusters last week to avert the spread of Covid-19. The authorities have also restricted air and bus travel to areas in Beijing that are badly affected by the Wuhan Coronavirus. All tourists have been restricted from travelling to the Capital and only essential travellers with negative RT-PCR reports are being allowed to enter.
At the same time, the Hainan province has also witnessed new Coronavirus cases on Monday (August 2). The deadly virus has also reached the Wuhan province, where it was originally found. About 7 new people have tested positive for Coronavirus. Reportedly, a total of 15 provinces in China are badly affected by the outbreak of Wuhan Coronavirus. Interestingly, cases in 12 of these provinces were found to be linked to the outbreak in Nanjing. The Chinese authorities have claimed that the spread of the Delta variant, coupled with domestic tourism, has been responsible for the worsening Covid-19 crisis in the country.
Coronavirus outbreak brings the spotlight on Chinese vaccines
The top respiratory specialists have expressed grave concern over the Coronavirus situation in the country. Chinese State media Global Times have described the situation as ‘most serious since Wuhan’. In an editorial, the paper has criticised ‘loopholes’ in Coronavirus prevention measures for the outbreak. “It is absolutely worrying if a single flaw can affect many provinces and regions across the country… it shows that our systematic progress in fighting the epidemic needs to be strengthened,” Global Times wrote.
Nevertheless, the grim situation has brought the spotlight over the efficacy of Chinese vaccines as authorities have claimed to administer 1.6 billion doses so far. Both the Chinese jabs, namely, Sinovac and Sinopharm have low efficacies (50-79%) in preventing symptomatic Coronavirus infections.