Test site cluster drives up COVID numbers

Dozens of cases in recent days have been linked to a COVID-19 testing site in Yangzhou.

China's coronavirus cases hit a seven-month high on Monday after a cluster at a test site helped drive up numbers.

Chinese health authorities on Tuesday reported 143 new coronavirus infections for the previous day – 108 of them locally transmitted.

Jiangsu Province reported 50 new local cases, among which two were registered in the provincial capital Nanjing, while 48 were reported in the city of Yangzhou.

Nanjing, a city with a population of more than 9.3 million, has reported a total of 233 locally transmitted confirmed cases since a new cluster of infections began to emerge on July 20 when a few airport cleaners at the Nanjing Lukou International Airport tested positive during routine testing.

Feng Jun, Party secretary and chairman of Eastern Airports that oversees the airport, and Xu Yong, the general manager of Eastern Airports, have been put under disciplinary and supervisory investigation by the anti-graft body of the province for suspected severe violations of disciplines and laws.

Nanjing has seen a downward trend in COVID-19 cases with no new locally transmitted cases reported on Sunday for the first time since July 20.

However, the city of Yangzhou, located about 100 kilometers away from Nanjing, has seen increasing cases. Dozens of cases in recent days have been linked to a COVID-19 testing site in Yangzhou.

Several officials have been issued warnings for mishandling mass testing, which allowed the virus to spread. Yangzhou authorities said "a small number of Party members and cadres have yet to perform their duties properly."

The city of about 4.6 million people has so far conducted five rounds of testing, collecting 1.6 million samples in an attempt to stamp out the spread.

More than 4,000 medical workers in the province have been dispatched to Yangzhou to help contain the epidemic.

At present, there are 634 confirmed COVID-19 cases still hospitalized in Jiangsu, including 615 locally transmitted cases. Besides, eight asymptomatic cases are under medical observation, among whom one is locally transmitted.

Henan Province reported 37 new locally transmitted confirmed cases and two new local asymptomatic carriers on Monday. All the new confirmed cases were previously categorized as asymptomatic carriers, with 35 in Zhengzhou, the provincial capital, and two others in the cities of Zhumadian and Kaifeng, respectively.

By Monday, the province had 127 locally transmitted confirmed cases and 16 local asymptomatic cases.

The national numbers on Tuesday were the highest since January when the country logged 144 new cases and 126 domestic infections.

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