Chinese authorities said Tuesday they will administer Covid-19 tests to all 12 million residents in Wuhan, where the first cases of Covid-19 were first reported, after the first local cases of infection by the highly contagious delta variant were reported in the city.
- On Monday, authorities confirmed three new delta variant Covid-19 cases in Wuhan, the first local cases since mid-May last year, Reuters reported.
- A city official told a news briefing that the city-wide testing was being done to screen out all asymptomatic infections and to ensure that everyone in the city was safe.
- Besides Wuhan, China has detected new local infections in the nearby cities of Jingzhou and Huanggang, all of which have been linked to cases found in China’s Jiangsu province.
- The outbreak in Jiangsu was reportedly fueled by the delta variant which is believed to have entered the region from an infected passenger flying in from Russia.
414. That’s the total number of locally acquired Covid-19 cases China has reported since July 20, when the first infections in Jiangsu were reported. It’s unclear if all of these cases are delta variant infections.
The Chinese National Health Commission (NHC) reported 90 new confirmed Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, 61 of which have been locally acquired. Since the start of the pandemic in Wuhan in late 2019, China has reported 93,193 Covid-19 cases and 4,636 deaths in total. After the initial outbreak, the country’s authorities used stringent lockdown measures and large-scale testing to stomp out the local spread of the virus in the country. But the emergence of the more contagious delta variant is likely to seriously test China’s “zero Covid” strategy and it may force authorities to reinitiate lockdowns. The emergence of the more infectious version of the virus is also expected to put further strain on the Chinese economy which grew slower than expected in the recently concluded April-June quarter.