Beijing reports first Covid-19 cases in months; scrambles to control Nanjing cluster

credit: China Daily via REUTERS
China struggles to check Nanjing-linked outbreak, as the capital of Jiangsu province has launched a third round of nucleic acid testing for all its 9.3mn residents, sealing them off.
credit: WikipediaJHU CSSE COVID-19 DataThe New York Times and Our World in Data.

Beijing recorded its first two Covid-19 cases in nearly 6 months on Wednesday, with authorities sealing communities and launching nucleic acid testing for residents in a northern district. Health authorities scramble to contain a spreading Delta variant outbreak linked to the eastern city of Nanjing.

Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province, has launched a third round of nucleic acid testing for all its 9.3 million residents in just nine days as new infections soared to 171 since last week.

The citywide testing covers all residents, including those who are paying a short visit to the city, health authorities said on Thursday, adding that 18 new locally confirmed cases were reported on Wednesday.

The outbreak linked to Nanjing has spread to at least five provinces and 13 cities including the cities of Beijing, Chengdu in southwest China and Dalian in the northeast of the country.

China reported 49 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, down from 86 a day earlier, the national health commission (NHC) said.

credit: WikipediaJHU CSSE COVID-19 DataThe New York Times andOur World in Data.

Local infections accounted for 24 of the cases that were detected on Wednesday, lower than 55 recorded for Tuesday, the NHC added.

Nucleic acid tests for residents in Changping, a district in north Beijing, were launched on Thursday after a couple was found to be Covid-19 positive. More than 650 contacts of the couple have been traced so far.

State media reports said the seven infected persons in Beijing, Dalian, and Chengdu, had recently attended a show in the tourist town of Zhangjiajie in central China’s Hunan province on July 22 where an unknown number among the 2,000-odd attendees had flown in from Nanjing.

Nanjing – the 2nd-largest city in eastern China after Shanghai – has seen cases of locally transmitted Covid-19 soar since around nine airport workers tested positive for coronavirus on July 20. The workers at the Nanjing Lukou International Airport tested positive for the virus during a routine inspection.