Covid-19 cases double in Fujian

This is the latest outbreak in the country, following those in Jiangsu, Guangdong and Yunnan. Events and celebrations for the Mid-Autumn Festival cancelled. Some cities in partial lockdown; public places and schools closed. Health experts: new wave of infections will be contained within a month.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - Covid-19 cases have doubled in Fujian the latest in a series of outbreaks in China. The National Health Commission said this morning that yesterday the number of infections in the south eastern province reached 59, from 22 the day before. The count does not include asymptomatic people.

In four days, Fujian recorded 102 infections. The infection originated in Putian, specifically from a Chinese citizen who returned from Singapore, where the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus is increasing. The other most affected centre is Xiamen: the administrations of the two cities have so far imposed partial lockdowns, affecting only some areas of the city.

All schools, from kindergartens to high schools, and public places such as cinemas, gyms and bars have been closed. Today, Xiamen International Airport has stopped 60% of incoming and outgoing flights. Residents are allowed to leave their homes only for essential reasons; authorities have cancelled events and celebrations of the Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on September 21. As AsiaNews has learned, many Chinese originally from Fujian have had to hastily cancel plans to gather with their families for the holiday.

As a matter of protocol, health authorities have begun mass testing of the local population. Overall, there were 92 cases of infection in China yesterday; the previous day there were 49. Two weeks ago, the government declared to have contained the contagion in Jiangsu, discovered in late July and then spread to several other provinces, including Beijing. Guangdong and Yunnan also had Delta variant outbreaks in June and July.

According to Chinese health experts cited by the South China Morning Post, infections in Fujian will be contained in about a month. Last year, the central government had claimed to have eradicated the lung disease, first detected in Wuhan (Hubei), between late 2019 and early 2020. Analysts note that the latest waves of contagion have contributed to the slowdown in the country's economic recovery.