It’s deja vu in China’s Wuhan as mass testing for Covid-19 returns
The Chinese city of Wuhan where the coronavirus was first detected in late 2019 will once again test its entire population of 11 million after a handful of Covid-19 cases were detected there, authorities announced on Tuesday.
Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, has recorded seven locally transmitted coronavirus cases - first local infections in more than a year - which are linked to a fast-spreading Delta variant outbreak in China.
Local health authorities suspended flights and trains, and cancelled basketball league matches following the detection of cases in Wuhan.
“To ensure that everyone in the city is safe, citywide nucleic acid testing will be quickly launched for all people to fully screen out positive results and asymptomatic infections,” Wuhan official Li Qiang said.
Parts of an industrial and technology zone were sealed off, a measure seldom implemented in the city after it emerged from a long lockdown, which lasted between the end of January and April 7 in 2020.
The tally of local cases in China since July 20, when the first infections were found in Nanjing in eastern China, stood at 414 as of Monday. The cities of Nanjing and Yangzhou in Jiangsu province in eastern China have cancelled all domestic flights, and Beijing has halted long-distance trains from 23 stations in the affected regions.
Led by the national health commission, China has stepped up efforts to contain a new cluster of Covid-19 infections - the biggest in China since last year.
In a related development, Zhangjiajie in Hunan province has ordered all residents and tourists not to leave the city to control a cluster outbreak of the Delta variant of Covid-19.
NYC will require jab proof for indoor dining, gyms
New York City will soon require proof of Covid-19 vaccinations for anyone who wants to dine indoors at a restaurant, see a performance or go to the gym, mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday, making it the first big city in the US to impose such restrictions.
Greece and Sweden plan booster shots
A large part of Sweden’s population is likely to be offered a top-up dose of a Covid-19 vaccine next year, according to the public health agency. Greece is also ready to start administering third doses for vulnerable groups.
On the vaccination front, half of the population of the EU has been fully vaccinated, according to an AFP tally on Tuesday.
In the US, 70% of adults have received at least one dose, a key milestone in the fight against the pandemic that the country hit nearly a month later than President Joe Biden had hoped.
US Senator Lindsey Graham, meanwhile, said he has tested positive for Covid-19 despite being vaccinated, becoming at least the third member of Congress to recently report a coronavirus infection.
Israel said on Tuesday it will require all persons arriving from the United States and 17 other countries to quarantine starting next week as the country grapples with a surge in coronavirus infections.