Officials blamed the latest clusters mainly on the highly transmissible Delta variant, ordered residents in the cities that have outbreaks to line up for mass tests, restricted people’s movement, and locked down residential compounds, neighborhoods, and communities one after another.
In eastern China’s Yangzhou city, at least 58 people were diagnosed with COVID-19 on Thursday. On Friday, 4.56 million residents were forced to stay at home and the regime closed the highways and railways to curb the virus’ spreading.
“Yangzhou’s hustle and bustle are paused,” state-run media Xinhua reported on Aug. 6. “The whole city became empty and quiet,” because people are locked down at home or in quarantine centers.
Even in a city like Xiangtan in central-south Hunan Province where only three residents were diagnosed in recent weeks, the control was tight. Residents told the Chinese-language Epoch Times on phone interviews on Aug. 6 that some of their cellphone-generated health codes suddenly turned to yellow, even red without any reason. The residents explained that they would have to wait for an ambulance to take them to quarantine centers if the codes turned red, and they wouldn’t be able to leave their homes if the code turned yellow.
“They couldn’t control their emotions when [the codes] changed suddenly without a reason. Some of them burst into tears, some others even fell to the ground,” Xiangtan resident Zhao said. “Suddenly they can’t go to work, can’t do anything they planned … it’s hurting.”
Highest Daily Infections
China announced 124 new confirmed COVID-19 cases for Thursday, the National Health Commission said, up from 85 a day earlier. Of the new confirmed infections, 80 were locally transmitted, up from 62 a day earlier, it added.
In the same announcement on Friday, Chinese authorities reported 58 new asymptomatic cases for Aug. 5, up from 54 a day earlier. The official figures, however, are likely to be below the real total, given the Chinese regime is known to grossly underreport its virus numbers.
The confirmed cases that the Chinese regime announced are patients who display symptoms such as a cough or fever, or signs of infection. The regime does not include symptomless cases in its tally until signs of disease show up.
On Friday, the Chinese regime designated 191 high- and medium-risk regions in 11 provinces and municipalities around the country, where people are now unable to leave their residential compounds.
The local cases were driven by a surge in infections in Jiangsu, a province next to the commercial hub of Shanghai, which reported 61 new local cases for Thursday, up from 40 a day earlier.
On Aug. 6, the Zhengzhou city government banned taxi and ride-hailing vehicles from leaving the city and quarantined everyone who had visited the No. 6 Hospital—ground zero of the current outbreak—as well as nearby neighborhoods since July 5.
Meanwhile, authorities in Wuhan, where the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus originated in late 2019, sealed off seven residential compounds and roads, and quarantined more than 2,000 people after seven cases were reported on Aug. 2, Xinhua reported.
“We all received two doses of vaccines, but the outbreak is still out of control. What can we do?” Li Xin (pseudonym) from Hankou district of Wuhan said.
The recent outbreak of the CCP virus was first reported on July 20 in the eastern city of Nanjing, where nine airport workers were identified by routine tests.
The official data indicate many infected cases in the fresh outbreak had received Chinese vaccines. In Nanjing city, health officials conceded on July 22 that almost all infected cases had received vaccines, except for one person under the age of 18. The official website of the airport, where the first cluster broke out, showed that more than 90 percent of the airport staff had received Chinese vaccines by May.
Dorothy Li and Reuters contributed to this report.