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Facing Delta wave, China says latest virus outbreak is complicated

China has acknowledged that the latest COVID-19 outbreak in the country is “complicated,” as the sweeping Delta variant pushed the number of daily infections to the highest point since January.

A total of 124 more infections were recorded over the past day, including 80 cases of local transmission, the National Health Commission (NHC) said in a daily update on Friday.

China’s overall virus tally since December 2019 now stands at 93,498, including 4,636 deaths.

Most of the new local cases – 61 – were in the eastern Jiangsu province, which has been the epicenter of China’s new virus outbreak.

Infections have been reported in at least 15 provinces since the highly contagious Delta variant was found in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu, last month.

“The latest resurgence of COVID-19 in China, caused mainly by the Delta variant, is more complicated, but the epidemic is generally controllable,” He Qinghua, a senior NHC official, told a news conference on Thursday evening.

“As long as local authorities strictly implement various prevention and control measures, I think the epidemic will be largely under control within two to three incubation periods,” state-run Xinhua News quoted He as saying.

He admitted that the current wave “has put some strain on response efforts, since it has multiple imported sources and has affected a wide range of people and places.”

The fresh outbreak driven by the highly transmissible Delta strain, which has spread worldwide since being detected in India, has prompted Chinese authorities to take strict measures, including restrictions on travel and academic activities.

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