China’s COVID-19 outbreak is developing rapidly, says health official – Community News

China’s COVID-19 outbreak is developing rapidly, says health official

A woman shows her health status on a phone to a security guard at an entrance to a shopping mall in Beijing, China, 23 August 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

SHANGHAI, Oct. 30 (Reuters) – China’s latest COVID-19 outbreak is developing rapidly, a health official said, as authorities demanded high vigilance at entry gates amid growing infections in a northeastern border town caused by the virus brought in from abroad. comes.

About 377 domestically transmitted cases with confirmed symptoms were reported Oct. 17-29, data from the National Health Commission (NHC) shows. China has tackled a series of outbreaks this year as it largely contained a national spread in early 2020.

The numbers remain small compared to clusters outside the country. As the rest of the world tries to co-exist with COVID, China is maintaining its zero tolerance and urging vigilance around border areas and ports to prevent infected inbound travelers from spreading the virus to locals.

“In the past 14 days, 14 provincial areas have reported new locally transmitted cases or asymptomatic carriers,” NHC spokesman Mi Feng said on Saturday.

“The outbreak is still developing rapidly and the virus control situation is serious and complicated.”

Heihe, a small northeastern city of 1.3 million people that sits on the Chinese side of the Amur River on the border with Russia, reported 26 local cases on Oct. 29, up from nine on Oct. 28 and just one. on October 27. .

“The outbreak has exposed the laxity of mind on the part of some local authorities,” said Wu Liangyou, another NHC official.

China, especially ports of entry, should strengthen test screening of people at high risk of infection and improve monitoring for potential flare-ups as the virus continues to spread in surrounding countries, Wu told a news conference.

Surveys and virus sequence results showed that the cluster in Heihe had nothing to do with an ongoing outbreak that mainly affected northwestern parts of China, indicating a new source of viruses had been brought in from abroad, Wu said.

Many local infections found in northern and northwestern China since Oct. 17 can be traced to a source of the virus brought in from abroad, the NHC said last week. read more

China’s border towns, many with relatively few resources, have tended to experience more severe disruption than wealthier cities during the outbreaks.

The small southwestern town of Ruili, bordering Myanmar, has tempered its once robust jewelry trade, a pillar of its modest economy, by some of the toughest virus measures in China due to repeated outbreaks.

In major cities, officials have sworn strict virus restrictions on major international events to minimize the risk of imported virus.

To safely host the February Winter Olympics, Chinese athletes and personnel supporting the event must receive booster vaccinations, while boosters are recommended for foreign athletes but not required, according to a state television report.

China aims to complete the vaccination of children ages three to 11 by the end of December, excluding those with medical conditions that could make a COVID-19 shot harmful, Wu said.

It has already fully vaccinated approximately 75.8% of its 1.4 billion population and is boosting eligible adults.

Reporting by Roxanne Liu, Andrew Galbraith and Winni Zhou; Editing by Stephen Coates and Alison Williams

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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