06/02/2021, 14.00
CHINA
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COVID-19 lockdown extended in Guangzhou, first case of rare avian flu in Jiangsu

Some 38 areas in Guangzhou are in lockdown. People cannot leave their homes. Due to the new outbreak, the Shanghai Air Expo was postponed. WHO approves Sinovac, China's second vaccine. Chinese authorities claim that the H10N3 strain of the avian flu virus is not very infectious.

Guangzhou (AsiaNews) – In Guangdong, provincial authorities yesterday extended the COVID-19 lockdown to 38 areas in Guangzhou, the provincial capital. Residents have been ordered to stay at home.

From 29 to 31 May, restrictive measures were limited to five streets in Liwan district. Local markets and places of entertainment were closed, air traffic reduced, and controls at the city airport beefed up.

Guangzhou reported 13 new coronavirus cases yesterday, seven in Liwan.  Li Xi, secretary of the Communist Party in Guangdong, said containing the new outbreak is the province's top priority. Health authorities plan to test 30,000 people a day.

The latest outbreak of the pandemic in Guangdong prompted the organisers of the Shanghai Air Expo to postpone the event since some exhibitors come from the affected province and have  pulled out.

After initial delays, China is administering the most COVID-19 vaccines, about 20 million a day at present. According to Bloomberg, more than 40 per cent of the population has received at least one dose.

Yesterday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) approved the provisional use of Sinovac, China's second vaccine. The other, Sinopharm, was given the green light last month.

The two drugs are already administered in several countries, but the international scientific community has always been sceptical about their effectiveness, a position shared by Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to WHO, trials indicate that Sinovac prevents symptomatic COVID-19 in 51 per cent of people and severe COVID-19 and hospitalisation in 100 per cent.

Meanwhile, China’s National Health Commission reported that a 41-year-old man from Zhenjiang (Jiangsu) is the world's first person infected with the H10N3 avian influenza virus.

Chinese authorities claim the disease is not very infectious and that the risk of spread is minimal. WHO stated that there are no indications of possible human-to-human transmission.

In February, Russia reported the first case of human contagion from the H5N8 variant of the avian flu. Between 2016 and 2017, the H7N9 strain killed 300 people.

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