More provinces in China are fighting Covid-19 than at any time since the deadly pathogen first emerged in Wuhan in 2019. The highly-infectious delta variant is hurtling across the country despite the increasingly aggressive measures that officials have enacted in a bid to thwart it.
More than 600 locally-transmitted infections have been found in 19 of 31 provinces in the latest outbreak in the world’s second-largest economy. China reported 93 new local cases on Wednesday and 11 asymptomatic infections. Three more provinces detected cases: central Chongqing, Henan, and Jiangsu on the eastern coast.
Officials in China say they are committed to maintaining a so-called Covid Zero approach, even though flare-ups are coming faster, spreading further and evading many of the measures that previously controlled the virus.
The drastic responses needed to wipe out the delta variant have led several other countries that had been pursuing the elimination of the coronavirus, including Singapore and Australia, to shift focus and instead rely on high vaccination rates to be able to live with the virus as endemic.
Beijing reported nine infections on Wednesday, including one that was earlier reported as asymptomatic. The capital city’s total case count in the current wave now stands at 38, a small tally compared to the situation in other parts of the world but the highest for Beijing since a pre-delta outbreak last January and February. Ticket sales into the city were halted for trains from 123 stations in 23 regions, officials said at a government briefing.