Covid returns to China's Wuhan after more than a year without a single case

ITV News Asia Editor Debi Edward reports on Covid's return to Wuhan

It is where the first Covid outbreak was detected, where lockdowns began and now after more than a year without a single case, the virus is back in Wuhan.

Seven cases of the delta variant were found, prompting the local government to launch another round of mass testing this week. Everyone in the city, which has a population of 11 million, will be screened.

In the space of ten days the virus has spread from airport workers in Nanjing to almost 30 other cities, including the capital Beijing.

Many of the cases have been traced to a concert held at a famous tourist hotspot in Zhangjiajie. Some of the 2,000 people in the audience had passed through Nanjing, and after the performance travelled back to their hometowns, bringing the infection with them.

As a result, frantic rounds of testing are underway in several provinces and millions of people have been confined to their homes in a race to contain the largest outbreak China has experienced in months.

The country has sought a zero tolerance policy with the virus but the Delta variant has now breached even the strictest of measures imposed, especially in the capital.

From the beginning of the pandemic, Beijing has been the most protected city in the country and now, at the height of the summer season, those of us living in the city have been told not to leave and only “essential travellers” with negative Covid tests will be allowed to enter after the discovery of a handful of cases among residents who had returned from Zhangjiajie.

Eradication may be the target, but this outbreak shows that’s still some way off.

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