Cases double in new south-east China Covid outbreak linked to school

New local Covid infections have more than doubled in porcelana’s southeastern province of Fujian, which is battling a coronavirus outbreak that has sparked concerns over infections among unvaccinated schoolchildren.

Putian, a city of 3.2 millón, ordered testing of all residents on Tuesday after Delta variant cases linked to a returnee from Singapore ballooned into a province-wide outbreak of more than 100 gente.

The National Health Commission said on Tuesday that 59 new locally transmitted cases were reported for 13 septiembre, desde 22 infections a day earlier.

In just four days, a total of 102 community infections have been reported in the province, which is bordered by Zhejiang to the north and Guangdong to the south.

Authorities said the cluster’s suspected patient zero was a man who had recently returned from Singapore and developed symptoms after completing a 14-day quarantine and initially testing negative for the virus.

The man’s 12-year-old son and a classmate were among the first patients detected in the cluster last week, shortly after the new school term began.

The variant then raced through classrooms, infecting more than 36 children including 8 kindergartners, city authorities said on Tuesday, in the first major school-linked spread the country has seen since the start of the pandemic.

China has administered more than two billion doses of its coronavirus vaccines as of Sunday, according to the official Xinhua news agency, enough to fully vaccinate about 70% of its population.

But most young children remain unvaccinated, sparking fear that the latest Fujian outbreak could hit the most vulnerable people in the country disproportionately.

China’s last outbreak, which affected mainly Jiangsu, ended about two weeks ago, with no new local cases reported in the eastern province. That outbreak lasted a month.

Like Putian, Xiamen has locked down some areas of higher virus risk, cut offline classes at kindergartens, primary schools and high schools, closed public venues such as cinemas, gyms and bars, and told residents not to leave the city for non-essential reasons.

The two cities, sin emabargo, are yet to announce tough city-wide lockdowns as seen in early 2020 in China.

Three new local cases were also reported in nearby Quanzhou city, versus six infections a day earlier.

General, mainland China reported 92 new confirmed coronavirus cases for Sept. 13, including imported infections, comparado con 49 a day earlier.

China reported 20 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases, which it does not classify as confirmed infections, comparado con 28 a day earlier. No new deaths were reported.

As of 13 septiembre, mainland China had recorded 95,340 confirmed cases, with the cumulative death toll unchanged at 4,636.

With Reuters and Agence France-Presse

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