- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 29, 2021

China is battling one of its worst COVID-19 outbreaks in months, with officials canceling flights and conducting mass testing after an outbreak in the eastern city of Nanjing.

More than 170 cases have been linked to the cluster that began at the Nanjing airport and spilled into multiple provinces.

Beijing reported two infections in a husband and wife who had traveled outside the city and were impacted by the cluster, according to CNN. They are the first cases reported in the capital in six months.

Authorities say the new outbreak is fueled by the coronavirus’s delta variant that is bedeviling the U.S. and countries around the world.

The virus that upended the world started in the central Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019.

Scientists and politicians are debating whether the virus was purely natural in origin or leaked from a virology lab in Wuhan that focuses on coronaviruses in bats.

China‘s communist government says it managed to put a lid on most outbreaks through draconian lockdowns and mass testing surveillance, though some doubt the accuracy of their cases and mortality statistics.

China reportedly has administered 1.6 billion doses of vaccines to its mammoth population and donated many more to other countries.

However, scientists have expressed doubts about their efficacy compared to the messenger-RNA vaccines being used in the U.S. and many western countries.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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