Coronavirus returns to haunt Wuhan; Officials begin mass testing for COVID-19
Beijing, Aug 03: Authorities in central China's Wuhan, where the coronavirus first emerged in 2019 and spiralled into a pandemic, on Tuesday began testing of its over 11 million people following the resurgence of cases, a year after it contained the deadly virus, even as a sense of unease prevailed in the country as several provinces reported fresh infections.
Wuhan, which became famous all over the world for its first coronavirus lockdown early last year, broke the zero-infection record since June 2020, as seven new COVID-19 cases were reported.
Authorities began a city-wide COVID-19 testing on Tuesday, the official media here reported. The city has upgraded its epidemic response measures in the face of the recent coronavirus infections, locking down the area where COVID-19 infections have been reported while upgrading its risk levels, state-run Global Times reported.
The city metro has adopted stricter anti-epidemic rules, and all schools have been closed. Just as Wuhan braced for the second COVID-19 resurgence, especially the Delta variant, several provinces and cities including Beijing are rushing to test millions of people.
Authorities in cities, including Beijing and Dalian, have told residents to stay home over summer as they try to stop the spread of the virus. Anyone from a city where cases have been reported is barred from entering Beijing, and transport from those places has been halted, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.
The National Health Commission (NHC), in its daily report on Tuesday, said that 61 new locally-transmitted COVID-19 cases have been reported from different provinces, including Jiangsu, Hunan, Hubei, Henan, Yunnan besides Beijing, Shanghai and Fujian.
This is in addition to a host of imported cases of Chinese nationals returning home from different countries. The municipal authorities of Zhangjiajie, a tourist destination in China's south Hunan province where the new clusters of cases were reported, and spread to 15 Chinese provinces, banned people from leaving the city.
China has so far reported 93,193 COVID-19 cases, including 1,157 patients still receiving treatment, and 4,636 deaths. The new infections raised concern over the Chinese vaccines, especially against the Delta variant, as China has administered 1.60 billion doses of the locally-made vaccines so far.