Of the new cases, 58 were found in the eastern city of Yangzhou in Jiangsu province, where the highly contagious delta variant spread among airport workers in the provincial capital of Nanjing.
China recorded another 80 locally transmitted cases of COVID-19 on Friday, as the country seeks to control the biggest flare-up since the original 2019 outbreak with a combination of lockdowns, mass testing and travel restrictions.
Of the new cases, 58 were found in the eastern city of Yangzhou in Jiangsu province, where the highly contagious delta variant spread among airport workers in the provincial capital of Nanjing. Other cases were found in six provinces from tropical Hainan in the south to Inner Mongolia bordering on Russia.
That has taken the number of cases linked to the Nanjing outbreak to at least 1,222 since the middle of last month, prompting renewed travel restrictions, community lockdowns and the sealing off of a city of 1.5 million. Such measures have been implemented with much success following local outbreaks under China’s ”zero tolerance” approach to the pandemic, although they are being seen as taking a major toll on society and the economy, stirring speculation that a new approach may be needed that allows for the virus to circulate to some manageable degree.
China says it has administered more than 1.6 billion doses of vaccine, although questions have been raised about the efficacy of the domestic jabs. Another 44 imported cases were reported on Friday and 1,370 people are currently being treated for COVID-19, 34 of them in serious condition, according to the National Health Commission. China has reported 4,636 deaths out of 93,498 confirmed cases.