Chinese authorities have said that Covid-19 infections in the southeastern Fujian province have more than doubled in the past 24 hours. Preliminary evidence suggests that the Delta variant is responsible for some of the cases.
On Tuesday, China’s National Health Commission said 59 new locally transmitted cases had been identified on Monday. The figure is almost triple from Sunday, when only 22 infections were recorded.
All the cases were found in southeastern Fujian province, which borders Zhejiang to the north and Guangdong to the south. A total of 102 local infections have been recorded in the past four days, including in the Xiamen transportation hub, which is home to some five million people.
The outbreak has already sparked a swift reaction from local authorities, and Fujian province was blocked on Monday night. Xiamen City residents were subjected to “closed loop” management, which means that people are prohibited from leaving their local area and all entertainment venues are closed.
According to the South China Morning Post, more than 1,000 people have been quarantined, including school children, and the mid-autumn festival has been canceled.
The outbreak dates back to a first case reported in the city of Putian on September 10. The tests indicated that the virus was the Delta variant that destroys vaccines and that it continues to create new challenges for managing the pandemic around the world. The Putian and Xiamen authorities began city-wide testing on Tuesday.
An earlier outbreak in July and August saw the state impose strict measures, city-wide test drives and severe closures. This time, the outbreak occurs before the week-long National Day holiday that begins on October 1.
The repeated outbreaks come despite China’s considerable progress in vaccination against Covid-19. To date, the country has administered 2.15 billion vaccines.
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