China has punished dozens of officials for failing to control the highly contagious Delta variant of Covid-19, CNN reported.

The country has clamped lockdown in certain areas besides imposing travel restrictions in view of the spike in Covid-19 cases.

It has also carried out mass testing after an original Delta cluster was detected in Nanjing city.

At least 47 Chinese officials have been punished for negligence over the Delta outbreak which has now spread to 31 provinces, reported CNN.

The officials facing punishments reportedly include the head of local governments, health commissions, and staff at hospitals and airports.

In Nanjing alone, 15 officials have been held accountable for allowing Covid-19 transmission at the city’s Lukou International Airport which was busy handling hundreds of summer tourists, according to the Community Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

Lukou International Airport is believed to be the place where the Delta outbreak started after nine cleaners tested positive for Covid-19.

The officials held accountable for ineffective epidemic prevention at Nanjing Lukou International Airport include the city’s deputy mayor and secretary and director of the Nanjing Municipal Health Commission.

The city of Yangzhou has also become a Covid hotspot after a cluster of 34 new Covid-19 cases was reported on Tuesday.

China was largely successful in containing the virus outbreak within its borders during the early days of the pandemic but the Delta outbreak has threatened the gains.

On Tuesday, Chinese health authorities reported 143 new Covid-19 cases, of which 108 were locally transmitted.

The latest daily infections are the highest since January when China reported 144 new cases and 126 domestic infections.


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