of china coronavirus cases reached a seven-month high on Tuesday, after a cluster at a testing site helped boost numbers as the delta version challenged Beijing’s grip on the pandemic.
State media have described the current outbreak – which has led to local lockdowns, mass testing and travel restrictions – as the most severe since the virus emerged in the central city of Wuhan.
Officials had brought domestic infections down to almost zero, allowing economic activity to resume with tight border restrictions.
But now the cases are increasing.
On Tuesday, Chinese health authorities reported 143 new coronavirus infections – 108 of them locally transmitted.
Dozens of cases have been linked to a COVID-19 testing site in eastern Yangzhou city in recent days.
In a sign of concern over even relatively minor outbreaks, warnings have been issued to many officials for mishandling mass testing, which city officials said allowed the virus to spread.
Yangzhou city officials said “some party members and activists have yet to perform their duties properly”.
The city of about 4.6 million people has so far conducted five rounds of widespread testing, collecting 1.6 million samples in an effort to stamp out the spread.
The fresh surge, which began after infections among airport scavengers in neighboring Nanjing city, sparked a series of cases across the country.
Tuesday’s numbers are the highest since January, when the country reported 144 new cases and 126 domestic infections, mostly in the northern regions.
Officials are now working to instill confidence that the latest resurgence is controllable.
“We have successfully contained the epidemic in Guangzhou, and the epidemic in Nanjing is gradually being controlled,” Xinhua quoted infectious disease expert Zhang Wenhong as saying.
(This story has not been edited by NB staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)