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July 30, 2021

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Nanjing on high alert as coronavirus cases at 171

NANJING, capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province, has been on high alert after witnessing over 100 novel coronavirus infections since July 20.

The megacity with a population of more than 9.3 million has reported 171 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases including seven with severe symptoms as of yesterday, said local health authorities, noting that the virus strain behind the latest cluster infections was the highly infectious Delta variant.

On July 20, nine airport cleaners at the Nanjing Lukou International Airport were first found positive for the virus during a routine testing. New infections have now spread among residents of other occupations, including taxi drivers and university staff.

To stem the virus spread, the city launched the third round of an all-inclusive nucleic acid testing campaign on Wednesday.

Nearly 6,900 medical staff helped more than 1.9 million residents in Jiangning District, where the airport is located, complete their tests in just one day during a previous mass testing.

“We are always ready. I only slept three hours to help complete the testing,” said Li Jie, a medical staff member in Nanjing.

“We all believe that as long as everyone is united, we will soon get through this. I’m very optimistic.”

Wang Meijuan, a 58-year-old Nanjing resident who lives about 20 kilometers away from the airport, said that queuing up for nucleic acid testing was not a cozy experience under the scorching sun.

“But preventing the epidemic is now the priority,” she added.

Thousands of community workers and volunteers have been mobilized to help maintain order during the mass testing.

“We used a school gymnasium to conduct the tests for our community with about 5,000 residents, as now it is the summer vacation. It was done very efficiently, a test took only about 10 seconds,” said Tian Wen, a community worker.

Nanjing has also built advanced COVID-19 testing labs including six air-inflated labs, which can screen up to 1.8 million people every day, to enhance its nucleic acid testing capabilities.

In the wake of the resurgence of COVID-19 cases, authorities in Nanjing have intensified response, implementing measures such as mandatory negative nucleic acid test certificate for passengers leaving the city and closure of cinemas and gyms.


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