China fights virus surge as Japan extends emergency
Gulf Today|August 01, 2021
China says Delta variant behind COVID-19 surge; Japan extends emergency and expands the measure to four more regions after new cases topped 10,000 for the first time

BEIJING

China raced on Saturday to contain its worst coronavirus outbreak in months, as health officials blamed the highly infectious Delta variant for a surge in infections spanning 14 provinces.

China reported 328 symptomatic infections in July - almost equal to the total number of local cases from February to June.

“The main strain circulating at present is the Delta variant... which poses an even greater challenge to virus prevention and control work,” Mi Feng, spokesman for the National Health Commission (NHC), said at a press briefing.

The outbreak is geographically the largest to hit China in several months, challenging the country’s early success in snuffing out the pandemic within its borders after Covid-19 seeped out of Wuhan.

But that record has been thrown into jeopardy after the fast-spreading Delta variant broke out at Nanjing airport in eastern Jiangsu province earlier this month.

More than 260 infections nationwide have been linked to the cluster in Nanjing, where nine cabin cleaners at an international airport tested positive on July 20.

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