Southern Chinese cities closed schools and ordered testing for millions in a race to curb a new Covid-19 outbreak
Southern Chinese cities closed schools and ordered testing for millions on Tuesday in a race to curb a new Covid-19 outbreak which has sparked concerns over infections among unvaccinated schoolchildren.
Putian, a city of 3.2 million in coastal Fujian province, ordered testing of all residents on Tuesday after Delta variant cases linked to a returnee from Singapore ballooned into a province-wide outbreak of more than 100 people.
The Fujian cluster is the biggest rebound in weeks and comes after the country declared the Covid outbreak spurred by the Delta under control, in a test of China’s “zero case” approach to the pandemic.
Authorities said the cluster’s suspected patient zero was a man who had recently returned from Singapore and developed symptoms after completing a 14-day quarantine and initially testing negative for the virus.
The variant then raced through classrooms, infecting more than 36 children including 8 kindergartners, city authorities said Tuesday, in the first major school-linked spread the country has seen since the start of the pandemic.
But most young children remain unvaccinated, sparking fear that the latest Fujian outbreak could hit the most vulnerable people in the country disproportionately.
The Chinese embassy in Singapore on Monday warned its citizens to be “cautious” about travelling to the Southeast Asian country and “be psychologically and economically prepared” for difficulties re-entering China.
Originally published as China races to squash new Covid-19 cluster among schoolchildren