Despite Giving 2 Billion Vaccine Doses, China Faces New Covid-19 Outbreak Ahead Of Winter Olympics

by Bhaswati Guha Majumder - Oct 23, 2021 02:00 PM +05:30 IST
Despite Giving 2 Billion Vaccine Doses, China Faces New Covid-19 Outbreak Ahead Of Winter Olympics The Covid outbreak in China.
Snapshot
  • According to reports, the latest outbreak is linked to a group of tourists.

    Because of the current situation, portions of China have tightened mobility restrictions, with the capital Beijing blocking off some districts and the northern regions implementing a variety of transportation restrictions and gatherings at public places.

Chinese authorities halted hundreds of flights, closed schools and increased mass testing in an effort to contain a fresh Covid-19 outbreak at a time when the data showed that at least 2 billion vaccine doses have been administered in the country.

When other countries slowly loosen restrictions, Beijing has maintained a rigorous zero-Covid approach with stringent border closures and targeted lockdowns.

In terms of vaccination, as per the Reuters database, so far, China has given out at least 2,240,550,000 doses of Covid vaccination — considering the fact that each person requires two doses — that would be enough to vaccinate around 80 per cent of the country's population.

But anyway, the SARS-CoV-2 virus found a way to cause a new outbreak in China.

The new cases were reported at a time when Beijing is busy gearing up for its hosting of the Winter Olympic Games in February 2022 and as a result officials vowed stringent efforts against the virus.

China reported 28 new domestically transmitted cases on 21 October, which is almost double compared to the cases registered a day earlier.

According to reports, the latest outbreak is linked to a group of tourists. Because of the current situation, portions of China have tightened mobility restrictions, with the capital Beijing blocking off some districts and the northern regions implementing a variety of transportation restrictions and gatherings at public places.

Authorities have also suspended face-to-face classes at schools and ordered businesses to halt operations in areas close to Changping district.

This week, six local instances of the highly transmissible Delta variant were also discovered in Beijing.

The Chinese capital has now begun to inject booster vaccination doses, with priority given to groups participating in next year’s Winter Games.

This week, four local asymptomatic Covid-19 cases were reported in Hebei province, near Beijing, in the cities of Xingtai and Baoding, which are a few hours from Zhangjiakou, which is co-hosting the Winter Games with Beijing.

The majority of the 70 local confirmed cases recorded since 16 October were from northwestern China, including Gansu province, Ningxia autonomous region and certain districts of Inner Mongolia, which are isolated and lack healthcare resources comparable to big cities.

Travellers arriving from outside the country who have been in China for less than 28 days were asked to take Covid-19 tests and stay indoors for a week before being allowed to enter Ningxia.

According to local media reports, as of 22 October, a dozen cities in China’s Gansu province had ceased certain long-distance bus services, many of which have yet to report any local infection cases.

A Chinese official reportedly claimed that a few trains linking Gansu's capital, Lanzhou, to the outside world, had been suspended and that only one flight from Lanzhou to Beijing was authorised.

Meanwhile, an airport in Qinghai province has stopped serving travellers transferring flights, as on 21 October, after it reported the first local case of the year.

However, as of 23 October, China has reported a total of 109,105 cases and 4,849 deaths caused by the novel coronavirus infection.

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