China could control latest Covid-19 outbreaks by late August: study

Beijing, Aug 9 (EFE).- Chinese epidemiological experts said they hope the latest coronavirus outbreaks that began to spread in the country three weeks ago will be “under control” by the end of August, according to state press.

According to a study by Lanzhou University published by the official People’s Daily, the outbreaks could be “controlled” toward Aug. 23 if current measures are maintained.

The infected will reach between 1,000 and 1,500 people, according to the research.

The country confirmed 94 new local cases of Covid-19 on Monday, the highest since several outbreaks associated with the delta variant began to spread at the end of July.

These cases represent a slight rebound compared to Saturday’s 75 and Sunday’s 81.

Authorities responded to the outbreaks with multiple rounds of massive testing and partial lockdowns in up to 216 areas now considered at risk.

Travel restrictions also star in measures to curb infections, with the suspension of new passports or greater control at the country’s ports and airports.

Of the local cases reported Monday, 38 were detected in Nanjing, capital of the eastern province of Jiangsu, where these outbreaks began to spread and which originated from the inadequate cleaning of an Air China aircraft from Russia carrying an infected traveler, authorities said.

Nanking did not report any positives Monday for the first time since late July, but its 9 million people will have to undergo a massive sixth round of testing.

The National Health Commission also reported 12 cases Monday in Hunan province and three in Hubei province.

The outbreaks so far have not been fatal, but there are 49 serious cases among the 1,603 active infections.

Although China remains steadfast in its “zero tolerance” policy against the virus, some experts such as Feng Zijian, former deputy director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said the country should prepare to “optimize” the duration and intensity of measures against the virus.

Others, such as Zeng Guang, from the same center, said it takes “a change of mentality and loss of fear,” while epidemiologist Zhang Wenhong said on the Sina Weibo social network that the country needs “wisdom to coexist with the virus in the long term.”

The country’s media supports the official position, and the China Daily newspaper said Sunday in an editorial that “there is no room to consider a change in strategy in the fight against Covid-19.”

Former Health Minister Gao Qiang said in a People’s Daily portal that “the idea of ??coexisting with the virus must disappear” and that China must “do more to avoid gaps and deficiencies” in the early detection of cases and thus avoid new shoots. EFE


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