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Global Times

China sees daily cases fall for 5 days, reaching 'turning point' for latest resurgence

Global Times

By Wan Lin Published: Aug 16, 2021 10:50 PM

China on Monday saw a fifth day of decreasing daily cases amid the country's latest COVID-19 resurgence. With main epidemic-stricken cities clearing infections or reporting declining numbers of new cases, experts said the latest outbreak, described as the most widespread since last year's outbreak in Wuhan, had reached a turning point and is expected to be tamed by the end of August.

Only 13 confirmed cases were reported in the Chinese mainland on Monday, with the past four days recording 61, 47, 30 and 24 new confirmed cases, respectively, from Thursday to Sunday.

Of the 13 new cases, six are from Yangzhou in East China's Jiangsu Province, six from Central China's Henan Province and one from Zhangjiajie in Central China's Hunan Province. The patients were either previously diagnosed silent carriers or close contacts of confirmed cases who had been put under medical observation.

An official of the Jiangsu government said at a Monday press conference that Yangzhou, a hot spot of infections during the latest spike, had achieved a "stage victory" with a five-day downward curve and by ensuring that all new infections were already under observation by the local government. Yangzhou has reported a total of 552 cases since the outbreak.

Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province, where the latest resurgence first started and which has recorded 235 cases in total, has not seen any new infections for three days in a row. There is only one medium-risk region left in the city. So far, 14 lockdown areas in the city have been unsealed and 23 are in the transition to re-opening, said the official at the press meeting.

The recent cases have been mainly reported in the regions, namely Jiangsu, Henan and Hunan provinces, and Southwest China's Yunnan Province.

Wang Guangfa, a respiratory expert at Peking University First Hospital, told the Global Times on Monday that the epidemic situation in the country is easing, and this surge spreading to multiple regions within a short time has been basically brought under control. This shows that the country's anti-epidemic measures have taken effect.

He noted that despite sporadic cases in some areas, the continuing daily decrease in the number of new cases in the country indicated that the outbreak has reached its turning point. It's expected that China will see nearly zero infections no later than the end of August.

"Such domestic flare-ups would usually ebb about 14 days after local control measures are put in place, and would be basically cleared in 28 days," he said.

An earlier estimate from The Global Prediction System of COVID-19 Pandemic developed by Lanzhou University said that this round of outbreaks in China will be controlled around August 23, and the cumulative infection numbers would be 1,087-1,598, if each province is able to detect potential infections promptly and curb their spread under the current level II response policy.

Several cities in China have determined school start dates or announced online class arrangements. Beijing education authorities announced on Wednesday that primary, junior high schools, kindergartens and universities will begin the new semester as scheduled. Primary and junior high school students will return to campus on September 1.

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