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Covid-19 Delta variant spreads in China and Beijing, most of those infected had been vaccinated

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The latest outbreak of covid-19, although limited, spreads to several provinces in China, including Beijing, authorities announced on Thursday , which are facing the Delta variant.

China , where COVID-19 was first detected in late 2019, practically stopped the epidemic in the spring of 2020 . But the latest outbreak, located in Nanjing (east) on July 20, is the one that has spread the most geographically in the country in months.

It was initially detected in nine employees of the airport of the former “southern capital” but infections have been recorded in 171 people in Jiangsu province , bordering Shanghai , and in at least four other provinces.

Most of those infected had been vaccinated , according to Jiangsu authorities, raising concerns about the efficacy of Chinese vaccines against the Delta strain.

The most populous country in the world has administered 1.6 billion doses (only manufactured in China) but it is unknown how many inhabitants are vaccinated with all the necessary doses. The goal is to immunize 65% of the population (1,400 million inhabitants) before the end of the year.

The country has also registered infections through its porous border with Burma.

In Jiangsu, authorities have confined hundreds of thousands of residents , said Lu Jing , a senior official in the provincial epidemiological services.

“In Nanjing, Internet cafes, gyms, cinemas, karaoke bars and even libraries have been closed,” he told reporters.

The metropolis has already tested its more than 9.2 million residents twice and launched a third screening campaign on Wednesday, the city council announced, adding that the highly contagious Delta variant is posing challenges to containment efforts. .

The densely populated Sichuan province (southwest) reported three cases on Thursday and Beijing two, the first in six months in the capital.

The Beijing patients, a married couple, who live on the outskirts of the Chinese capital, tested positive after returning from a tourist spot in central China , a health official said.

Since then, more than 650 close contacts have been identified and quarantines have been imposed.

“Currently it is the summer holidays, a peak period for tourism, travel and meetings. There should be no slack in preventing and controlling the epidemic , ” Pang Xinghuo , deputy director of the city’s disease control center , told reporters .

In the center of the capital, the Legendale hotel was closed after the discovery of an imported case . On Thursday, employees in protective suits were disinfecting the surroundings of the establishment with sprayers.

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