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July 30, 2021

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Local expert wants close monitoring of outbreak

THE results of COVID-19 monitoring over the next one or two weeks will be the key to assessing whether the new wave of infections will be contained in Nanjing, according to Dr Zhang Wenhong, Shanghai’s COVID-19 expert team leader.

If more cases show up that are not directly linked to the airport cluster, it means the scale of the epidemic will expand, needing tighter measures, Zhang stated on his Weibo account.

So far, all the confirmed cases in other provinces are linked to the outbreak in Nanjing Lukou International Airport. If there are no second- or third-generation infections in other provinces in the next one or two weeks, this round of resurgence can be contained in Nanjing, according to Zhang.

“Strict prevention and control measures have been taken in Nanjing and their effectiveness will control the spread of the pandemic, which we should be confident about,” he said.

Most of the patients testing positive in the latest outbreak have been vaccinated, raising concerns about the efficacy of vaccines against new variants.

Zhang noted that those who have been inoculated can also get infected, but the number of infections would be much higher if there were no vaccinations. The results of a study of 10.2 million people in Chile showed that inactivated vaccines made in China had an effectiveness rate of 65.9 percent against infection, a 90.3 percent guard rate against people going to ICU, and 86.3 percent against death, according to Zhang. If the fatality rate is reduced to that of flu through inoculation, the virus’ effects can be eliminated.

“Most virologists in the world agree that this is a virus with which we must learn to coexist. Nanjing further consolidated the claim that there will always be risks of infections in the future,” Zhang said. “We’ve won the fight against the virus, and we will surely find a winning formula in the future,” he said.


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