China has been known to tackle several outbreaks of Covid-19, the latest being the Delta variant.
Has the People's Republic of China found the antidote to the Delta variant of coronavirus? It is the only country that has, within five weeks, managed to stomp out a major Delta variant outbreak that too without a single death. Not just that, this is also around the 30th instance, since the pandemic began out of Wuhan in early 2020, of China controlling an outbreak of Covid-19 and bringing infection figures down to zero.
On July 20, 2021, airport cleaning staff at Nanjing, in eastern China, had tested positive for the Delta variant of Covid-19 and the infections had soon spread to 50 cities across 17 mainland provinces of China. The outbreak, according to Xinhua News Agency, was controlled through resolute actions, including targeted lockdowns, travel restrictions, mass testing, and swift medical actions. These measures included completely cutting off train and airplane services to some of the higher risk areas.
The Economist reported, how on August 11, activity at one of the Ningbo port’s busiest terminals, on China's east coast, came to an abrupt halt. A 34-year-old dockworker, who had come into contact with visiting crews, was diagnosed with the Delta variant of covid-19. That single infection was all it took for China to shut down the port and after contact tracing put 650 people in strict quarantine. The Ningbo port in the first 6 months of 2021 handled more tonnes of cargo than any other port in the world but that did not stop China from shutting it down.
On August 10 CNN had reported how across China at least 47 officials, ranging from the heads of local governments, health commissions, hospitals and airports, had been punished for negligence for failing to implement the measures promptly or thoroughly enough to control the outbreak.
On August 23, the Chinese mainland reported zero new local cases for the first time, marking a success in containing the most severe Covid-19 outbreak since the beginning of 2021 and not a single death had occurred during the entire infection period.
A woman holds a child on a street of Beijing, China, Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021. (Photo: AP)
The drastic steps taken to control the outbreak are measures western democracies shy away from as being too authoritarian, but there are no such questions inside China, with the results there to see for everyone. Ma Xiaowei, head of China's National Health Commission in an interview with Xinhua News Agency of China said, "Practices have proven that our prevention measures are effective. We must continue to implement these measures, strengthen weak links, and consolidate work in key areas."
On August 22, a day before China reported zero cases, a study was made public that reported that inactivated Covid-19 vaccines developed by China had curbed the spread of the Delta variant during an earlier May outbreak in Guangzhou city in south China. Global Times reported that the study led by top Chinese epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan and published in the journal Emerging Microbes & Infections on August 14, said that two shots of Chinese inactivated vaccines are 70.2 per cent and 100 per cent effective in preventing moderate symptoms and serious symptoms, respectively.
Global Times wrote that this is reportedly the first real-world data report on the effectiveness of Chinese inactivated vaccines against the Delta variant.
Meanwhile, the country is set to breach the 2 billion vaccination mark anytime now. China's National Health Commission released figures of more than 1.94 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines having been administered as of August 22, 2021.
Source: India Today
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