China administers COVID-19 vaccines to 22.77 million people

K J M Varma
·2-min read

Beijing, Jan 27 (PTI) China has administered 22.77 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and increased its daily testing capacity for the virus to 15 million in a stepped-up drive to combat the latest resurgence of coronavirus cases in the country ahead of the Chinese New Year holidays.

The Chinese mainland on Tuesday reported 75 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 55 locally transmitted and 20 arriving from outside, the National Health Commission (NHC) said here on Wednesday.

Of the locally transmitted cases, 29 were reported in Heilongjiang, 14 in Jilin, seven in Hebei, four in Beijing and one in Shanghai, it said.

Zeng Yixin, deputy head of the commission, told media here that a total of 22.77 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in China by Tuesday.

He said China's daily testing capacity for COVID-19 has surpassed 15 million samples.

'Our testing capacity is even stronger when we conduct pool testing, for example, five or 10 samples in one batch,' state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Zeng as saying.

According to NHC, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the mainland reached 89,272 by Tuesday and the virus has so far claimed 4,636 lives.

China has stepped up measures to combat the increasing number of the coronavirus cases in number of cities, including Beijing, ahead of the next month’s week-long Spring Festival and Chinese New Year holidays. Beijing has further beefed-up measures restricting overseas passengers arriving through third countries.

'Airlines should remind and dissuade the third country personnel to transit into Beijing in the links of ticket sales and check-in, and do not allow the transit personnel to check in or board the plane,' Beijing city government said.

All passengers are required to fill in the 'letter of commitment for taking a flight to Beijing' before boarding, and will bear the relevant legal responsibility for concealing information such as residence history and health status, it said.

Meanwhile, China is gearing up for the World Health Organisation probe into the origins of the coronavirus as the two-week-long quarantine period for the 14-member WHO team in Wuhan is set to end on Thursday.

The WHO team is expected to visit various parts of the city, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) which was at the centre of COVID-19 storm.

Former US President Donald Trump had alleged that the novel coronavirus emanated from WIV before it spread across the world and claimed millions of lives and shattered global economies.

Ever since the virus outbreak came to light in Wuhan in December last, speculation has been rife on whether the viral strain originated from WIV or from its nearby Huanan Seafood Market.

However, China denies the allegations and claims that COVID-19 emerged in several places in the world and it only reported first when it surfaced in Wuhan in December 2019. PTI KJV SCY SCY