China imposes local lockdowns amid COVID-19 spike

BEIJING (AP) – China tightened restrictions and increased orders for massive coronavirus tests in cities on its east coast on Wednesday amid the latest spike in COVID-19 infections.

Authorities have lifted checkpoints at toll booths around Putian city in Fujian province, and a dozen of them are completely closed. The cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou have also limited travel due to the spread of the delta variant in the region.

The National Health Commission on Wednesday reported 50 new infections in various parts of Fujian, mostly in the Putian region.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, which was first detected in late 2019 in the central city of Wuhan, China has imposed strict testing, quarantine and mask requirements.

Fujian has registered at least 152 new cases in recent days, which led to the ordering of confinements and the closure of entertainment venues, restaurants and gyms, in addition to the cancellation of group activities, including those of the upcoming Autumn Festival.

Long-distance bus trips to other parts of the province were suspended.

China has mostly slowed the spread of COVID-19 but has sporadic outbreaks. In July and August, the delta variant affected several provinces, raising concerns about new and more contagious variants.

According to the Commission, it has administered more than 2 billion vaccines against the disease, although the efficacy of drugs developed in China has been questioned, especially against the delta variant.

In this image, released by the Xinhua News Agency, a health worker takes a sample from a resident during mass COVID-19 testing in Putian, southeastern Fujian province, China, on September 12, 2021. ( Wei Peiquan / Xinhua via AP)

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