China coronavirus Photograph:( AFP )
It began after nine workers at the Nanjing airport tested positive on July 20. After that, 171 cases have been detected in Jiangsu province, while infections have spread to at least four other provinces
China on Thursday reported small coronavirus outbreaks due to the Delta variant in three provinces. This comes as a cluster linked to an eastern airport spreads even after mass testing and a vaccination drive.
It began after nine workers at the Nanjing airport tested positive on July 20. After that, 171 cases have been detected in Jiangsu province, while infections have spread to at least four other provinces.
It is geographically the largest spread for several months.
Officials in Jiangsu have locked down hundreds of thousands of residents, Lu Jing, a member of the epidemic prevention taskforce, told reporters Thursday. He said, "Internet cafes, gyms, cinemas and karaoke bars and even libraries in Nanjing have been shut down".
The southwestern province of Sichuan reported three new cases Thursday while Beijing reported two locally transmitted infections, the first in six months.
Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the city's centre for disease control said, "It is currently the summer vacation, a peak period of tourism, travel and gatherings... There should be no slack in prevention and control of the epidemic".
Meanwhile, China is blocking the World Health Organization's call for a new investigation into the origins of the coronavirus, which includes looking into whether it leaked from a lab, claiming that there is no proof for the theory and that it violates common sense.
China warned that a WHO plan to inspect Chinese labs as part of a larger investigation into the origins of the coronavirus outbreak demonstrates "disrespect" and "arrogance toward science."