The highly infectious Delta variant has been detected in more than a dozen cities since July 20, and officials have asked local government authorities to rigorously track infections and close loopholes in control efforts.
“Mental laxity must be firmly overcome,” the National Health Commission (NHC) said in a statement Sunday calling for the outbreak to be stopped.
Analysts see the Delta variant as the biggest test of China’s zero Covid strategy since last year’s initial outbreak, but they hope authorities will overturn it before it spirals out of control, even if it comes at some financial cost.
Sunday’s 125 new confirmed infections on the mainland included 94 locally transmitted cases, up from the previous day’s figure of 96, with 81 locally transmitted, while the rest were imported from abroad, the NHC said Monday.
Most of Sunday’s local patients were in the central city of Zhengzhou and the eastern city of Yangzhou, government figures showed.
Yangzhou has started a fifth round of massive testing, city authorities said on Monday, when Zhengzhou is expected to complete sample collection for its third round of city-wide testing.
The eastern city of Nanjing, affected by the outbreak that began in late July, although it did not report more than five local cases a day since August 2, has also started a third round of selective testing in some areas, after three rounds in the whole city.
The number of new asymptomatic infections was 39, compared to 30 the day before. China does not classify them as confirmed cases.
China’s infection count stands at 93,826 since the outbreak began, while deaths stood at 4,636.