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Huge spike in Covid cases as China scrambles to contain outbreak

Huge spike in Covid cases as China scrambles to contain outbreak

China on Sunday reported 206 new Covid-19 cases, including 158 locally transmitted infections for December 25, the highest numbers in several months as central health authorities scramble to contain the current outbreak ahead of the February 2022 Winter Olympics. As many as 157 Covid-19 cases among the locally transmitted ones were reported from the northwestern historic city of Xian, capital of Shaanxi province, where 13 million residents are under a lockdown since Thursday. The province has recorded 500 local cases since December 9 when the current outbreak started. The numbers are low compared internationally, but the significant jump in the number of local cases will be a worry for the Chinese government which is following the principle of “zero Covid” policy, or “dynamic-zero” policy, as it tries to stamp out cases. The number of local infections more than doubled from a day earlier when the national health commission (NHC) had reported 87 domestic infections. Xian, the capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi province, has deployed tens of thousands of government workers to join frontline anti-epidemic workers who have spread out in the residential quarters of the city in a bid to contain the outbreak. The city imposed closed-off management for communities and villages on Thursday, in an effort to contain the latest Covid-19 resurgence, which has been linked to a passenger on a flight to the city from Pakistan. “Residents have also been asked not to leave the city unless absolutely necessary,” state news agency Xinhua reported. Chinese vice-premier Sun Chunlan has urged swift virus containment measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Xian during a recent inspection in the city. “To aid the fight against Covid-19, the Xian municipal committee of the Communist Party of China has sent more than 33,000 government workers to the frontline to help address staffing shortages. They have joined in the closed-off management of communities, nucleic acid testing and environmental disinfection,” the Xinhua report said. This is a modal window. Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window. End of dialog window. This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. The central commission for discipline inspection on Friday said in a statement that 26 people in Xian were being held accountable for “not doing a good job” in their Covid-19 prevention and control effort, but did not specify their punishment. China reported 48 imported cases for Saturday including 18 cases in Shanghai; eight cases in Tianjin; and one in Beijing. China also reported 29 new asymptomatic cases, which it classifies separately from confirmed cases, up from 24 a day earlier. There were no new deaths, leaving the death toll at 4,636. Mainland China had 101,077 confirmed cases as of December 25..

world-news 2021-12-29 hindustantimes