Covid cases return to Wuhan as President Xi Jinping reiterates China’s Zero Covid policy
Covid returns to Wuhan: Two cases are reported in the city where the virus first emerged – just days after President Xi confirmed the continuation of the Zero Covid policy
- Confirmed cases of Covid-19 detected in Wuhan, the city where the virus first appeared
- Chinese President Xi Jinping hailed the country’s draconian ‘zero Covid’ policy
- Mass testing and localized lockdowns have become a regular feature for China
The first confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been detected in the Chinese city where the virus first emerged as President Xi Jinping reinstated his commitment to the country’s draconian “Zero Covid” policy.
A pair of Wuhan port workers reportedly showed signs of asymptomatic infection in the first confirmed cases in a month.
China is now set to undergo its fourth wave of mass testing to continue isolating areas with recorded cases, after Anhui province reported a rise of 107 infections on Friday and Lingbi County was locked down.
Overall, the country recorded 163 infections on Thursday, the highest number in the past three weeks.
The news comes just days after Xi visited the sprawling city and reinstated his desire to see entire cities locked down and placed under severe restrictions in order to contain the virus.
President Xi Jinping meets with members of a residential community in Wuhan, China on June 28.
China is now set to undergo its fourth wave of mass testing to continue isolating areas with recorded cases, after Anhui province reported a rise of 107 infections on Friday and Lingbi County was locked down. Pictured: Mass testing in Beijing on June 22
Chinese citizens are pictured queuing for Covid-19 tests in Macau, China
President Xi will now launch an updated Zero Covid plan that will see incoming travelers and close contact quarantine periods cut in half, with mass testing and the use of lockdowns set to ramp up.
Increased surveillance and earlier, more aggressive restrictions should also be used by the Chinese leader.
Beijing and Shanghai reported no new Covid cases yesterday as Shanghai Party Committee Secretary Li Qiang hailed the city’s two-month lockdown attempt as he declared victory over the virus.
The Chinese capital escaped the same draconian restrictions by launching a mass testing regime and requiring proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours to enter public spaces.
A US scientist piecing together the early spread of the virus has traced the first human Covid infection to a woman who worked at the Huanan Seafood Market.
The woman, known as Wei Guixian, fell ill with mysterious flu-like symptoms on December 11, 2019, since confirmed to be Covid.
Dr Michael Worobey, a University of Arizona evolutionary biologist who published the report, said about half of the first cluster of cases were linked to the market and Ms Guixian.
The slaughter market – which traded dozens of exotic animals like pangolins – was originally touted as the source of Covid due to the high risk of cross-species infection.
A US scientist piecing together the early spread of the virus has traced the first human Covid infection to a woman who worked at the Huanan Seafood Market. Pictured: Workers wearing protective suits walk by the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, March 2020
The slaughter market – which traded dozens of exotic animals like pangolins – was originally touted as the source of Covid due to the high risk of cross-species infection. Pictured: A man wearing clothes walks next to optical shops on the second floor of the Huanan Seafood Market, December 2020
The World Health Organization had disputed that assessment and placed the first confirmed case about 20 miles south of Wuhan.
As the rest of the developed world opened its doors freely to tourists, trade and a return to normality, China stood out by adhering to a rigorous Zero Covid plan.
President Xi’s statement this week said “herd immunity” was an impossible task for a population the size of China, saying it would have “unimaginable” consequences.
The president’s Communist Party has always used the country’s low death rate as proof of the party’s success and as proof that its policies have worked.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, has come under heavy criticism for his handling of the pandemic which has been deemed ‘China-centric’ as he praised China for its response to the Covid epidemic.
After meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping in January 20202, he said, “I was very encouraged and impressed by the President’s detailed knowledge of the epidemic and his personal involvement in the epidemic.
“That was very rare leadership for me.”
But he has since been censored by Chinese state media for criticizing the country’s current zero Covid policy in May this year.