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Worst Covid Surge in China after months, flights, rails cancelled. Chinese covid vaccines on test

Every province has advised residents not to leave as flights are cancelled and Beijing suspends more than a dozen rail lines.

Worst Covid Surge in China after months, flights, rails cancelled. Chinese covid vaccines on test

China has dramatically tightened its tourism restrictions as it seeks to control the country's worst outbreaks in recent months, with hundreds of different Delta cases linked to airlines.

The latest outbreak has infected more than 400 people in 25 cities, including the capital, Beijing, and Wuhan for the first time since the first Covid-19 outbreak last year. Cases were reported in 17 of the 31 provinces.

A further 71 cases were pending in the country, the national health commission said - the highest daily number since January. About half were in Jiangsu, the base of the airport cluster where most cases are connected, and 15 in Hunan.

China on Wednesday afternoon announced that it would tighten border crossings, and suspend the issuance of entry and exit documents for non-essential, non-emergency travel, state media reported.

Governments in all 31 provinces have advised citizens to refrain from leaving their territories unless necessary, and to stay away from the four high-risk areas - and more than 120 moderately endangered regions - in central China, in an effort to curb Delta's high-risk transmission.

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In addition to various closure measures, Nanjing and Yangzhou have since canceled all domestic flights, with Beijing blocking 13 railway lines and suspending the sale of long-distance tickets to 23 stations, according to state-run Xinhua news agency. Yangzhou, Wuhan, and the flood-hit city of Zhengzhou have launched a nationwide survey and Zhengzhou now requires all people to report adverse test results in order to leave the city.

Residences, including those housing more than 10,000 people in Beijing, have been closed for mass inspection. Authorities have also begun screening all 11 million Wuhan residents.

Health officials say more than just home-made vaccines have been given to Chinese people. There are no public statistics on the number of fully vaccinated adults, but last month state media said at least 40%. Last month authorities in Guxixi district and Jingmen city in Hubei, announced they would start vaccinating children between the ages of 12 and 17.

China's chief infectious disease specialist, Zhong Nanshan, said most Delta patients showed negative symptoms and initial research showed that Chinese drugs were effective in reducing the severity of the disease, Xinhua said. Zhong did not specify which prominent local vaccine - Sinovac or Sinopharm - he was referring to.

China has sold or donated vaccines to many other countries, especially in the southern hemisphere. But some of those sites have since recorded surges on infection, raising concerns about their effectiveness in halting Delta's deployment.

Chinese authorities have not yet released full clinical data on their vaccines, but current studies have shown Sinovac to be 50-60% effective, lower than Pfizer and Moderna (both nearly 90%) and Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca (both about 70). %). Sinopharm has an effective reporting rate of 78%.

While it has seen several outbreaks since mid-2020, Chinese authorities have been busy using pilots to test the city's military demands, strict local closures, and restrictions on travel.

However, Delta’s high-profile diversification has seen the number of cases increase rapidly and spread far and wide. Many cases have been linked to Nanjing and Lukou airport crews who clean an inland flight from Russia, as well as domestic flights. The spread of the disease among tourists to the concert in Zhangjiajie, Hunan, via Lukou has also spread to many provinces.

"Zhangjiajie has now become a new place for the spread of the Chinese epidemic," Zhong said earlier this week.

In an editorial on Sunday, the Global Times quoted state news as saying that China did not have the capacity to make mistakes like those identified in Nanjing, given the high rates of infection worldwide.

"The challenge for China is to open up manageable windows between our closed anti-epidemic program and the troubled outside world, which not only ensures the openness of Chinese society, but also maintains China's ability to vigorously erase Covid-19 cases," he said.

There are also other Delta-linked outbreaks linked with Myanmar, including the border province of Yunnan, and Zhengzhou that have found passengers from Myanmar.

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