China is once again witnessing a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases as the highly transmissible Delta variant is making its way into regions of the country, which had remained “virus-free” for many months.
With the spread of the Delta variant, cases are once again on a rapid surge in at least 18 out of 32 provinces of the country.
Cases are also on the rise in Wuhan, the original epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.
Over 300 cases have been detected in China in the las two weeks, with 55 of them being reported on Monday.
The rise in cases has put the Chinese authorities in a spot of bother, considering the broad spread of the Delta variant.
“Delta accounts for 80% of cases in the US, and they re-instituted a requirement for masks. That means delta’s spread is severe and personal protection cannot be slackened even with vaccination,” said Wang Huaqing, chief immunisation expert at the Chinese CDC.
China’s vaccination rate is close to 60% and among the highest in the world, but it remains to be seen whether the country’s locally-developed shots can slow delta’s spread.
Several major cities in China have been placed under lockdown.
Major cities including Beijing have now tested millions of residents while cordoning off residential compounds and placing close contacts under quarantine.