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The Delta variant is triggering a sudden surge of Covid cases in China in 15 cities including the capital Beijing with state media calling it the most extensive outbreak after Wuhan in 2019-end.

On Saturday, China imposed stronger Covid-19 restrictions in response to spiralling outbreaks of the extremely contagious Delta version, as the WHO urged the world to immediately control the mutation before it evolves into something more deadly and draws out the pandemic.

As per a report by BBC, the covid outbreak that began in Nanjing has expanded to five provinces and Beijing. All flights have been halted in Nanjing till 11 August after many airport employees tested positive.

Since the virus was initially discovered on July 20 at the city's major airport, about 200 people have been affected.

Officials also started city-wide testing in the wake of their "failure."

The country where the disease initially appeared has hastened to control the highly transmissible strain, placing over one million people under quarantine and resuming extensive testing operations.

According to Xinhua news, all 9.3 million people of the city, including visitors, would be examined.

Long queues of people have been seen on social media, and police have reportedly advised individuals to wear masks, stand one metre apart, and avoid talking while waiting.

Also Read: China opposes lab leak study in any new virus origins probe

The cases were linked to cleaners who worked on a flight from Russia that arrived in Nanjing on July 10, according to Ding Jie, a health official in Nanjing. According to Xinhua News, the cleaners did not adhere to strict hygiene standards.

The recent increase in cases has prompted some on Chinese social media to wonder if the Chinese vaccines are effective against the Delta strain, though it's unknown whether individuals who were affected had been vaccinated.

Several south-east Asian countries that formerly relied on Chinese vaccines have recently indicated that they will switch to other vaccines.

China has mostly kept the virus under control so far by closing borders and responding rapidly to local outbreaks.

Coronavirus infections are on the rise again around the world. World Health Organization has reported an 80% spike, fueled mostly by the Delta strain.

The variant was first discovered in India and has since spread to 132 countries.

"Delta is a warning: it's a signal that the virus is evolving, but it's also a call to action that we need to act now before more deadly variants evolve," said Michael Ryan, the WHO's head of emergencies.

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