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Wuhan once more

The people of Wuhan are bracing for the second outbreak of Covid19 and it is fervently to be hoped that virus shall not spread further afield.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Two years after the first strain of the coronavirus was detected in Wuhan, so dreadful indeed that it subsequently aggravated to a pandemic, China has advanced a pregnant prescription by ordering mass testing of its citizens to counter the spread of a fresh outbreak.

More stringent anti-epidemic rules have been formulated and it is shutters down in all schools.

A year after the virus was contained, the resurgence in a city where it all began, has led to the testing of 11 million people.

The administration in Beijing is somewhat unnerved with reports that fresh infections have been reported in several provinces.

The city broke what it called its “zero infection record” as seven fresh cases were reported last June. It has now upgraded its epidemic measures as it contends with recent coronavirus infections.

While the risk-levels have been upgraded, the city administration has locked down the area where infections have been reported. While hundreds of thousands have been tested, Wuhan has geared up to countenance the resurgence, notably of the deadlier Delta variant.

It must be acknowledged that counter-measures have neen adopted with a degree of promptitude, almost exceptional. The general alarm has been heightened considering the report of the National Health Commission on Tuesday. Apart from Beijing and Shanghai, there is said to be a host of what they call “imported cases” that have afflicted Chinese nationals returning home from various countries.

Mirroring the general anxiety, the municipal authorities of Zhangjajie, a tourist destination in southern China, have barred people from leaving the city. Is it possible that the fresh infections are a reflection on the efficacy of Chinese vaccines, especially against the Delta variant? China claims to have thus far administered 1.60 billion doses of locally-manufactured vaccines.

An estimated 100 patients have been infected with the variant in southern Guangzhou city as recently as May. Going by a study conducted by Global Times, preliminary surveys have revealed that the Chinese vaccines are 100 per cent protective against severe cases; 76.9 per cent against moderate cases, 67.2 per cent against mild cases and 63.2 per cent against asymptomatic infections.

To achieve herd immunity through vaccination, China, which boasts a population of nearly 1.4 billion, must of necessity innoculate 83.3 per cent of its population. The people of Wuhan are bracing for the second outbreak of Covid19 and it is fervently to be hoped that virus shall not spread further afield.

This is also not the time for Beijing to embroil itself in a face-off with the World Health Organisation or with other nations that have questioned the origins of the virus. If Beijing has nothing to hide, it should welcome inquiry and investigation.