Delta mutant breaks through Nanjing defense line

On the evening of July 20, when the staff of Nanjing Lukou International Airport found that the news of 9 positive samples appeared in Liu Chang’s circle of friends, she was a little surprised, but she was not too nervous. She lives in Gulou District, Nanjing, more than 40 kilometers away from the airport. She thinks the probability is imported from abroad, and the risk is small. Since the local cases were cleared in March last year, Nanjing has maintained the record of zero new local cases, which can be regarded as one of the most “safe” cities. Even in early 2020, only 93 confirmed patients were found in the provincial capital city with a permanent resident population of 9.31 million. She had planned to go back to her hometown to attend her friend’s wedding with her boyfriend at the end of the month, but she was told by the company that she couldn’t leave Ning the next day.

In July 20th, the day when Zhengzhou set the highest value of the hour rainfall in Chinese mainland, the focus of social media’s attention this week is. However, at the same time, the number of new cases in Nanjing began to grow rapidly. From July 25 to 27, there were 30 or 40 new confirmed cases every day. The epidemic is no longer limited to the vicinity of Lukou street, Jiangning District, where Lukou Airport is located. It not only affects the main urban area of Nanjing, but also spills over to many parts of the country. This made Liu Chang and his friends feel that the situation was serious, and the Chinese people all recovered. They realized that the epidemic situation in Nanjing may not be limited to individual places like many small-scale epidemic situations that had occurred before.

(on July 28, at a nucleic acid detection point on the street of Nanjing, citizens lined up in the dark to prepare for nucleic acid detection and sampling. This is the third round of full staff nucleic acid testing in Nanjing. Photography / our reporter Yang Bo)

“Will this round of epidemic break out on a large scale?” On July 31, the topic launched by the official microblog of the people’s daily appeared on the hot search. With the help of the summer travel peak, as of 24:00 on August 2, the cases associated with the epidemic in Nanjing had spread all over 10 provinces and 28 cities in China, showing a multi-point flowering trend, with a cumulative number of more than 420 cases. Zhangjiajie, a tourist resort in Hunan Province, has become the “second landing point” of the virus, causing more than 70 cases of infection in 17 cities in 9 provinces.

On the afternoon of July 31, the press conference held by the joint prevention and control mechanism of the State Council said that in the short term, there is still a risk of continued spread of the current round of epidemic in Nanjing. A public health expert who asked not to be named told China Newsweek that nationwide, if the epidemic situation could be controlled in the next month, “it would be good to stop it”.

“Nanjing has been closed, but it’s still a little late.”

In July 20th, the COVID-19 prevention and control headquarters of Jiangning District of Nanjing received a report from Lu Kou airport, and 9 of the airport’s regular nucleic acid test samples were positive. Among them, 8 are airport cleaners and 1 is cabin cleaner.

With the increase of sampling, more and more airport cleaners have been detected positive. The infected airport staff include ground handling, auxiliary police, stevedores, flight attendants, etc. The virus first spread rapidly among cabin cleaners, and then further expanded the epidemic through social activities and work environment pollution. Most of these airport staff live in villages belonging to Lukou street. They commute by electric vehicles every day, and the virus spreads to their families. According to the flow survey information, there are 96 airport staff among the 220 infected people in Nanjing. Among them, there are 70 cleaners, mainly women, aged about 40 or 50.