According to the Anglo news-media, China is facing its greatest crisis since the pandemic began.
For more than a year, China has held SARS-CoV-2 at bay, suffering but a few cases at a time in controllable outbreaks. All of the infections were carried into China from the outside, often by Chinese returning from foreign travel. All visitors arriving in China face two weeks of quarantine — but those rules may have been changing as China's vaccination saturation inched toward the top.
Whenever new infections popped up, or were caught in massive testing sweeps, contract tracers immediately descended on the patient. His path was meticulously retraced using cell-phone location tracking and relevant survellience footage. Face recognition identified everyone the patient encountered or interacted with. In every case, a large sample of mostly strangers were interviewed, tested, and potentially quarantined. The strategy is very aggressive, but it has allowed the rest of China to mingle and socialize and go about their business.
But in Nanjing, the Coronavirus slipped in through an unexpected weakness in their maintenance procedures.
July 30, 2021 — For more than a year, Chinese officials have beat back the coronavirus with a tried formula: Strict lockdowns at the sites of outbreaks. Lengthy quarantines for travelers. And citywide testing when new cases appear.
But an outbreak of the fast-spreading Delta variant could challenge China’s zero-tolerance approach toward new infections.
In the outbreak, centered in the eastern city of Nanjing, about 200 cases have been reported as of Friday. But infections have spread rapidly, with patients emerging in at least six Chinese provinces and the capital, Beijing, in just three weeks.
As officials move to contain the spread, the highly infectious Delta variant could prove to be a more difficult foe than the original version of the virus, which China stamped out with harsh efficiency in 2020.
The BBC piped up to describe the event with the sinister overtones they reserve for China:
Officials also began city-wide testing amid criticism for their "failure". All 9.3 million of the city's residents - including those visiting - will be tested, said state-controlled Xinhua news.
Posts on social media show long lines of people queuing, and authorities have reportedly urged people to wear masks, stand one metre apart and avoid talking while they wait.
Officials said the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus was behind the infections, adding that cases had spread further because of how busy the airport is.
Ding Jie, a health official in Nanjing, told reporters the cases were linked to cleaners who worked on a flight from Russia that arrived in the city on 10 July.
The cleaners did not follow strict hygiene measures, Xinhua News reported.
The airport management has been rebuked, with a senior disciplinary body of the Communist Party saying it had "problems such as lack of supervision and unprofessional management".
The Times pointed out here that most of China’s people are already vaccinated. To them, this means that the emergence of Delta will be the definitive test of China's domestically made vaccines. They failed to point out that the only test would be in the rate of death — and not in the incidence of infection. Unlike the US, China methodically tests the entire population of the cities involved and, so they manage to scoop up the asymptomatic patients that the Delta variant produces. The Times hints that Chinese authorities could trample human rights with the tough steps they take to control the virus.
The Times also manages to blame the Chinese outbreak on an unhygienic Russian passenger.
The outbreak in China began when a group of airport workers in Nanjing were sickened around July 10, probably from exposure to an infected person who arrived on a flight from Russia, according to city officials. Two rounds of citywide testing of more than eight million people turned up 184 cases.
To stop the spread, Nanjing has increasingly shut down services, first closing the airport, then restricting indoor gatherings. This week, the city authorities closed parts of the expressway that connects Nanjing with other major cities in Jiangsu Province.
As handfuls of cases connected to Nanjing have popped up in other provinces, the authorities there have moved swiftly to impose restrictions.
In the central city of Zhangjiajie, in Hunan Province, indoor public areas including movie theaters and malls were closed after the authorities said that four people with the virus, all asymptomatic, went to a show in the city. Nearly 200 miles away in the provincial capital of Changsha, the authorities banned indoor gatherings in response to one confirmed case.
In central Sichuan Province, where seven cases were found, the authorities declared parts of the capital, Chengdu, a medium-risk zone. The discovery of three cases in the northern city of Shenyang prompted officials there to begin tracking visitors who had come from other areas with outbreaks.
Perhaps most worrying to officials are two cases that appeared in Beijing, where the government has generally followed stricter prevention policies. Officials said that a husband and wife who traveled from Zhangjiajie had tested positive and that 654 people who had been in close contact with them had been placed in quarantine.
To their credit, the Chinese Communist Authoritarian Dictators didn't say anything about mandatory masking.
We are facing that same crisis as a nation. But, for us, I think it looks a lot more frightening: No wonder the State Department was so desperate to pin the blame for this and other fake news on China. But the distraction is not working well at all. There is just too much hard science out there that tells a different story. All the lies and prevarication have consequences.
• About three-fourths of people infected in a Massachusetts Covid-19 outbreak were fully vaccinated against the coronavirus with four of them ending up in the hospital, according to new data published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
• The new data, published in the U.S. agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, also found that fully vaccinated people who get infected carry as much of the virus in their nose as unvaccinated people, and could spread it to other individuals.
• While the delta variant continues to hit unvaccinated people the hardest, some vaccinated people could be carrying higher levels of the virus than previously understood and are potentially transmitting it to others, the CDC's Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told reporters on a call Tuesday. She added the variant behaves “uniquely differently from past strains of the virus.”
• Delta, is now in at least 132 countries and is already the dominant form of the disease in the United States. It is more transmissible than the common cold, the 1918 Spanish flu, smallpox, Ebola, MERS and SARS, according to the document. Only measles appears to spread faster than the variant.
This late breaking CNBC news piece looks a lot like a Friday night news dump, to me.