© Reuters.File picture: In another round of large-scale testing after the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, a medical worker in protective clothing collected a swab sample from a man in a residential area for nucleic acid testing
Beijing (Reuters)-In the last week of 2021, China ended its largest number of local COVID-19 cases in any 7 days since the country’s first epidemic was contained nearly two years ago.
The National Health Commission reported on Saturday that as of December 31, there were 175 new community infection cases with confirmed clinical symptoms, bringing the total number of symptomatic local cases in mainland China to 1,151 in the past week. This was mainly due to Northwest Industry and Technology. The outbreak of the center caused by Xi’an.
Despite the sharp decline in cases earlier this year, China has adopted some of the most severe COVID-19 measures in the world.
The continuous deepening of the epidemic in Xi’an, a city with a population of 13 million, may strengthen the authorities’ determination to speed up the containment of the spread of the virus when cases arise. Since December 9, the city has reported 1,451 local cases, which is the highest record in a Chinese city in 2021.
As of Saturday, Xi’an has been blocked for 10 days.
In the year when Beijing will host the Winter Olympics and the Communist Party Congress every five years, it is important to prevent a major epidemic in 2022, and President Xi Jinping may receive a third term as party secretary there.
The emergence of the highly spread variant of Omicron has prompted many countries to review or suspend reopening plans, which will also prompt Beijing to maintain a high degree of vigilance against the virus. China has reported a small number of imported Omicron cases and at least one locally transmitted case.
According to the National Health Commission, since August, China’s goal has been to contain any outbreaks in about two weeks, which is shorter than the four to six weeks in the early battles that occurred in sporadic outbreaks after the initial nationwide epidemic. Much.
Yunnan Province borders Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam. New local symptomatic cases were reported in 92 days or 25% of the 365 days last year, more than any other province, autonomous region or municipality.
In Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province, there were new local symptomatic cases in 30 days.
(Illustration: Number of days to report new local COVID cases with symptoms in Mainland China in 2021, https://graphics.reuters.com/HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/CHINA/lgvdwjwblpo/chart.png)
The number of cases of the Xi’an epidemic has not yet dropped significantly. Officials said the virus had spread quietly in the city before the strict restrictions were implemented.
The outbreak also led to cases in other cities, including Beijing, which can be traced back to a flight arriving from Pakistan, but it is not clear how it spread to the local community.
Many people have been banned from leaving their residential areas, but a city official said on Friday that restrictions will be relaxed in lower-risk residential areas in due course.
Li Jiaxin, a 23-year-old graduate student, said that no one can leave the campus of her university. She spent New Year’s Eve with three roommates, unable to meet her boyfriend and family.
“I may be the kind of person with a strong sense of ritual in your mind, so I still feel a little sad that we are not together at this time,” she said.
(Illustration: China’s main COVID-19 epidemic in 2021, https://graphics.reuters.com/HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/CHINA/zdvxoqowepx/chart.png)