Delta variant wreaks havoc in China’s Wuhan & 39 other cities; casts doubt on its Covid-19 control strategy 

Beijing: A severe outbreak of delta variant infections has erupted in 40 cities, including China’s capital Beijing and Wuhan, where the coronavirus had originated. As many as 124 patients were found in various Chinese cities on Friday, bringing the total number of cases of the new variant to 500. The spread of the latest variant of the coronavirus has cast doubt on China’s disease control strategy against the virus.  

Delta variant

At the end of 2019, coronavirus infections were detected in Wuhan, China. Over the next few months, the Chinese regime had claimed to have brought the coronavirus under control through lockdowns, mass testing, the construction of large hospitals and the use of locally developed vaccines. Also, photographs of crowds gathered for parties and other occasions in Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak, and other cities were released. 

China, which had then claimed to bring coronavirus under control, criticised the West’s and other countries’ strategies to combat the disease. At the same time, the Chinese regime had declared to have carried out large scale vaccination drives for its citizens. According to Chinese authorities, 1.7 billion vaccines have been administered so far. However, they did not declare the exact number of people that received the vaccinations. 

Against the backdrop, the latest outbreak poses a new challenge to the Chinese ruling regime and local authorities. Most new patients in China have been detected with the ‘delta variant’, which is spreading more rapidly. Experts claim that the Chinese authorities have not taken the threat seriously. Although Chinese vaccines have been claimed to be effective against the Delta variant, no scientific evidence has emerged. Therefore, there is uncertainty regarding the extent of the vaccine’s effectiveness. 

As coronavirus patients continue to rise, Dr Shi Zhengli, China’s leading scientist, issued a warning against new variants of coronavirus. ‘The number of coronavirus patients is increasing tremendously. It will allow the virus more chances to mutate internally. Newer strains of the coronavirus will continue to emerge,’ Dr Shi warned. Dr Shi’s warning is striking since she was carrying out research on the coronavirus for more than a decade. A few days ago, the Western group called ‘SAGE’, Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization, had also given a severe warning about the new variant of the coronavirus. The new variant of the coronavirus could be fatal in up to 35 per cent of infected patients, the SAGE had said. 

Meanwhile, according to an American website, a researcher at China’s leading research institute was reported to have contracted the coronavirus. A senior researcher at China’s National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention (NIVDC) had contracted the virus at the start of 2020. This information was revealed from the emails of some researchers in China. Earlier, the SARS virus, which had originated in China in 2004, was also found to have spread from the NIVDC. Therefore, this incident has drawn much attention to itself.  

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