New outbreak in China continues to increase

The number of new nCoV cases in the Fujian outbreak continued to increase to 135 and spread to Quanzhou city, prompting authorities to implement restrictive measures.

China’s National Health Commission today said that the whole Fujian province recorded 60 new cases of nCoV in the community on September 13, including one case without symptoms, bringing the total number of infections in the outbreak. This number increased to 135, more than double from 64 cases a day earlier.

Of these infections, 85 were recorded in Putian, a city of 3.2 million people in Fujian, including eight kindergarten students and 28 elementary school students. The epidemic has also spread to the nearby city of Quanzhou, with three new infections recorded.

This outbreak originated in Putian with the first case reported on September 10. Preliminary test results on samples from some of the cases in Putian showed that they were infected with the highly contagious Delta variant.

People register to be tested for nCoV in Quanzhou city, Fujian province, China, on September 13.  Photo: Reuters.

People register to be tested for nCoV in Quanzhou city, Fujian province, China, on September 13. Photo: Reuters.

The epidemic then spread south to Xiamen, a popular tourist and transportation hub with a population of 5 million. The city recorded a new infection on September 12, but only a day later the number had increased to 32.

Similar to Putian, the Xiamen government has sealed off some areas with a higher risk of infection, closed face-to-face classes at kindergartens, primary schools and high schools, and ordered the closure of activities in places. such as cinemas, gyms or bars, and urged residents not to leave the city for non-essential reasons.

Both Putian and Xiamen today started citywide nCoV testing. However, the authorities of the two places have not issued a blockade order on a large scale, a measure that was applied early last year in China.

The new outbreak in Fujian province comes just before China’s week-long national holiday, which begins on October 1, is also the peak tourist season. The most recent outbreak in late July has hit the tourism, hotel and transportation industries hard.

Luster (Follow SCMP, Reuters)

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