China punishes officials over Delta variant outbreak


Beijing : China has punished nearly 47 officials over the recent outbreak of COVID-19’s Delta variant in the country, a media report said on Tuesday. At least 47 officials nationwide, ranging from the heads of local governments, health commissions, hospitals and airports, have been punished for negligence. In Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province, 15 officials were held accountable for allowing infections to spread at the Nanjing Lukou International Airport, CNN reported.

Some officials were detained while others were received penalties ranging from suspension to severe warnings.

The current outbreak, which first emerged in the eastern city of Nanjing, has spread to over half of China’s 31 provinces and caused more than 1,000 symptomatic infections in three weeks. Authorities have rushed to impose stringent lockdowns, mass testing, extensive quarantine and travel restrictions — a strict playbook it has previously used to swiftly stamp out sporadic flare-ups, CNN added.

The country is facing its biggest COVID-19 outbreak since the disease first emerged there in late 2019, with the Delta variant now spreading far and wide.

China in May shored up its border to fence all provinces and cities to keep out the novel coronavirus after the nation largely banished the pandemic after it first emerged in the city of Wuhan, Asia Times. reported.

The measures were hastily put in place before the summer of 2020 and now China’s firewall has become nearly impregnable and is being strengthened as the West edges towards loosening its entry requirements as caseloads fall amid vaccination campaigns. (ANI)