The Covid-19 outbreak first detected in the Chinese city of Nanjing has now spread to five provinces and Beijing, with state media calling it the most extensive contagion after Wuhan, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

The overall global Covid-19 caseload has topped 197.2 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 4.20 million and vaccinations soared to over 4.04 billion, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Saturday morning, the University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload, death toll stood and vaccination tally stood at 197,276,917, 4,207,236 and 4,042,614,173, respectively.

The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world’s highest number of cases and deaths at 34,943,203 and 613,006, respectively, according to the CSSE.

In terms of infections, India follows in the second place with 31,572,344 cases.

Covid-19
A view from Bryant Park in New York, the United States. (Xinhua/Wang Ying/IANS)

The other worst countries with over 3 million cases are Brazil (19,880,273), France (6,166,592), Russia (6,161,985), the UK (5,857,558), Turkey (5,704,713), Argentina (4,919,408), Colombia (4,776,291), Spain (4,447,044), Italy (4,343,519), Iran (3,851,162), Germany (3,774,918) and Indonesia (3,372,374), the CSSE figures showed.

In terms of deaths, Brazil comes second with 555,460 fatalities.

Nations with a death toll of over 100,000 are India (423,217), Mexico (239,997), Peru (196,214), Russia (155,180), the UK (129,877), Italy (128,047), Colombia (120,432), France (112,011) and Argentina (105,586).

‘New outbreak worst since Wuhan’

A Covid outbreak first discovered in the Chinese city of Nanjing has spread to five provinces and Beijing, with state media calling it the most extensive contagion after Wuhan, the BBC reported.

Almost 200 people have been infected since the virus was first detected at the city’s busy airport on 20 July.

All flights from Nanjing airport will be suspended until 11 August, according to local media. Officials also began city-wide testing amid criticism for their “failure”.

All 9.3 million of the city’s residents – including those visiting – will be tested, said state-controlled Xinhua news.

Posts on social media show long lines of people queuing, and authorities have reportedly urged people to wear masks, stand one metre apart and avoid talking while they wait.

Officials said the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus was behind the infections, adding that cases had spread further because of how busy the airport is.

Ding Jie, a health official in Nanjing, told reporters the cases were linked to cleaners who worked on a flight from Russia that arrived in the city on 10 July.

The cleaners did not follow strict hygiene measures, Xinhua News reported.

The airport management has been rebuked, with a senior disciplinary body of the Communist Party saying it had “problems such as lack of supervision and unprofessional management”.

Testing has shown that the virus has now spread to at least 13 cities including Chengdu and the capital Beijing.

However, experts quoted by the Global Times said they believed the outbreak was still at an early stage and could be controlled.

Local officials in Nanjing said that seven of those infected were in critical condition. The new spike in cases has led some on Chinese social media to speculate about whether the Chinese vaccines were working against the Delta variant.

Central Chinese cities close tourist sites

Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in central China’s Hunan Province said it would close its major tourist sites starting Friday.

The move came after the prefecture reported one confirmed Covid-19 case Friday, the Xinhua news agency reported.

nepal delta covid variant

In the past days, several cities in Hunan reported a spike in Covid-19 infections.

The city of Zhuzhou on Friday closed cinemas, entertainment venues, and tourist sites after it had reported six asymptomatic cases since Thursday.

Also, on Friday, the city of Zhangjiajie closed all its tourist sites and upgraded 11 neighbourhoods to medium-risk areas for Covid-19. The city, known for its scenic mountains, reported one confirmed case of Covid-19 on Thursday.

ALSO READ – Covid-19 jabs save 60,000 lives in England: PHE

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