China reports 71 new Covid-19 cases as the Delta virus outbreak hits Nanjing

A medical staff in protective suit works at a nucleic acid testing laboratory of Nanjing First Hospital following a citywide mass testing for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China. - Reuters

BEIJING, July 27 (Reuters): China reported 71 new Covid-19 cases on July 26, the national health authority said on Tuesday, as an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant threatens the eastern city of Nanjing.

Local infections accounted for 31 of the new cases, down from 40 a day earlier, the National Health Commission said in a statement.

All of the local cases were reported in the eastern province of Jiangsu, where Nanjing is the capital, it said.

Based on the genetic testing results on patients, the virus strain that caused Nanjing's coronavirus outbreak is the Delta strain, a Nanjing city government official told a media conference on Tuesday.

China has taken a zero-tolerance approach to Covid-19 infections, quickly testing large swathes of its population and tracing the contacts of any positive cases to prevent the spread of the virus.

Nanjing is undergoing its second round of massive nucleic acid testing of its 9.3 million residents and has started a third round of testing on key regions, the government said.

Nanjing has now marked four high-risk and more than 30 medium-risk areas in the city, meaning tighter restrictions on social distancing for residents in such areas.

The number of new national asymptomatic cases - which China does not classify as confirmed cases - declined to 20 from 24 a day earlier.

Among the symptomless cases, three were local infections - all in the northeastern province of Liaoning.

Total confirmed Covid-19 cases in mainland China stand at 92,676, and the death toll remains at 4,636. - Reuters
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