China guards against strong rebound of COVID-19
CHINA, SOUTH KOREA: China is taking swift and thorough measures to contend with its latest wave of COVID-19 outbreaks, as multiple regions in the country have seen surging infections recently.
The Chinese mainland Sunday reported 1,337 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and 788 local asymptomatic cases in more than a dozen provincial-level regions, the National Health Commission (NHC) said Monday.
Amid the new spike in COVID-19 cases, several cities with infections have adhered to the dynamic zero-COVID approach through a raft of measures. These include launching multiple rounds of mass testing, ordering closed-loop management of some communities, and suspending traffic and classes to stem the virus.
Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan Sunday stressed taking the most thorough epidemic response measures to stem the COVID-19 outbreaks in northeast China’s Jilin Province, among the hardest-hit areas as Omicron spreads in the country.
On Sunday, the province registered 895 confirmed domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases and 131 asymptomatic carriers.
The Omicron BA.2 variant has been identified as the culprit of recent COVID-19 resurgences in many places. Meanwhile, South Korea had its deadliest day yet of the pandemic on Tuesday, with 293 deaths reported in the latest 24 hours, as the country grapples with a record surge in coronavirus infections driven by the fast-moving Omicron variant.
South Korea has reported a daily average of around 337,000 new cases in the past seven days, including 362,283 on Tuesday, representing more than an 80-fold increase from levels seen in mid-January, when Omicron emerged as the dominant strain. The country’s caseload is now over 7.2 million, with 6.4 million added since February.
Park said because of high vaccination rates, the country has so far weathered the Omicron surge with lower levels of fatalities than what was seen in the United States and Europe, which was hit by the variant earlier. More than 62% of South Koreans have received booster shots.
The country so far has 17.6 COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 people, compared to 285.5 deaths in the U.S. and 237.5 in Britain, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. – XINHUA, JAPAN TODAY