China mass testing shows virus cases at six-month high

Beijing, China | Wed, August 4, 2021

China recorded the greatest daily number of local coronavirus cases in months on Wednesday, as a trail of Delta variant infections was discovered through mass testing and contact tracing activities.

On Wednesday, health officials recorded 71 domestic cases, the most since January, as China tackles its worst outbreak in months by testing entire towns and evacuating millions of people.

Despite the outbreak spreading to dozens of large cities, the official results of those testing suggested a low caseload.

While swaths of the globe struggled to contain a pandemic that has killed more than four million people globally, Beijing had previously boasted of its success in crushing Covid-19, allowing the economy to recover and normal life to resume.

With roughly 500 domestic cases documented since mid-July, when a cluster among airport cleaners in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, was discovered, the latest outbreak is challenging that record.

Wuhan, where the virus initially appeared in 2019, revealed its first local illnesses in almost a year this week and announced Tuesday that it would “swiftly initiate” testing of all 11 million citizens.

Long lines of citizens stood in the summer heat Tuesday at outdoor testing booths, fanning themselves with paper forms as employees in hazmat suits took throat samples.

Meanwhile, Nanjing’s 9.2 million citizens have been put to the test three times after gyms and cinemas were closed and residential compounds were closed.

In addition, the tourist attraction of Zhangjiajie in central Hunan province, where affected tourists from Nanjing saw a theater performance, abruptly announced Tuesday that no one would be permitted to leave the city after it became an infection hotspot.

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