China's Delta-driven COVID-19 clusters expand

A COVID-19 flare-up in the Chinese city of Nanjing has spread to more cities and provinces, including Wuhan, where officials ordered mass testing for nearly 12 million of the city's residents.

China is among several Asian nations battling a virus resurgence, along with Japan, where one of the country's top doctors called for government officials to impose a national state of emergency.

China tracking COVID clusters in multiple cities

A quickly evolving Delta (B1617.2) outbreak that began in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province on China's east-central coast, has now triggered clusters in at least 30 cities, up from 13 cities last week, according to the Washington Post.

Yesterday, officials in Wuhan reported three Delta variant cases, marking the city's first local cases since May 2020, according to Reuters. They announced plans to test nearly 12 million people for the virus, and some areas of the city's industrial and technology zone were sealed off. Wuhan is where the first human SARS-CoV-2 cases were detected in December 2019, which triggered a massive outbreak in the city. Wuhan's outbreak led to outbreaks in other parts of China, then the rest of the world.

Two other Hubei province cities, Jingzhou and Huanggang, also reported recent local cases that were traced back to Nanjing's outbreak, which started in late July and is thought to have been triggered by a traveler from Russia.

China is also battling a cluster in the city of Zhengzhou in central China's Henan province, which appears to be linked to the people arriving from Myanmar, one of the Asian nations battling a COVID surge.

In its latest update today, China's National Health Commission reported 90 new cases, 29 of them imported. Of the 61 local cases, 45 were from Jiangsu province, 6 from Hunan, 3 from Hubei, 2 each from Henan and Yunnan, and 1 each from the cities of Shanghai and Beijing, as well as Fujian province. Officials also reported 41 new asymptomatic cases, of which 23 are considered local.

More global headlines

  • The head of the Japan Medical Association today called for the government to declare a national state of emergency to contain the spread of COVID-19, according to Reuters. A surge of cases in Tokyo, currently hosting the Olympic Games, is straining hospitals, which prompted Japan's prime minister to ask people who aren't seriously ill to isolate at home, rather than going to the hospital. Currently, a state of emergency is in effect for Tokyo and surrounding areas, plus Osaka prefecture in the west.

  • Africa's cases declined for the third week in a row, mainly led by declines in South Africa and other countries in the southern region, the World Health Organization (WHO) African regional office said in its weekly outbreaks and health emergencies update. Deaths, which recently spiked, also declined. However, officials said 19 countries are experiencing resurgences and that Africa is still in the midst of its third wave.

  • The global total edged close to 200 million today, totaling 199,299,103 cases, along with 4,242,277 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins online dashboard.

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