The Chinese government is in a state of panic as it has imposed new travel restrictions all over the country in order to slow down the delta variant driven outbreaks that have grown to more than 500 cases scattered across half the country. The CCP government has stuck to an aggressive containment playbook rather than rely on its high vaccination rate.
In the144 of the worst-hit areas nationwide, the public transport and taxi services have been curtailed. While officials have also curbed train service and subway usage in Beijing, where three new cases were reported Wednesday. The island of Hong Kong re-imposed quarantine on travellers from mainland China, with an exception for the southern Guangdong province which neighbours the financial city.
In just a period of two weeks since the first case of Delta variant, the total confirmed cases — people infected and sickened by the virus — have grown to more than 500. The infections were reported in three cluster areas in China: an outbreak among airport cleaning staff in eastern city Nanjing, another found at a hospital treating Covid patients in Zhengzhou and sporadic cases detected in Yunnan, the province bordering Myanmar.
The vaccination rate against Covid-19 remains the highest in the world with 61% of the population has been vaccinated, but still, the Chinese government is in no mood to take risks and has stuck to its tried-and-true approach of mass testing and targeted lockdowns that’s crushed over 30 previous flareups.
While case numbers are still too low to be a test of whether China’s homegrown vaccines successfully prevent serious illness and death from the delta strain, the government is unwilling to take the chance as the many scientists all over the world have raised their concerns of China’s Sinovac vaccine and questioned its efficiency. The Chinese vaccine-makers have not released data from broad-based studies on how well their shots perform against the delta strain. Western scientists believe that that effectiveness is already lower than the western messenger RNA vaccines and further will be even less potent against the highly infectious variant.
In the capital city of Beijing, the government has halted the use of community spaces for entertainment, limited the number of visitors allowed at parks and scenic areas and implemented a two-week quarantine for visitors from high-risk areas.