China’s Global Times government newspaper revealed on Thursday that at least ten provinces were now dealing with what it branded coronavirus “flare-ups,” prompting school closures, stay-at-home mandates, and flight cancelations.
China is the origin nation of the Chinese coronavirus, first documented in central Wuhan city in late 2019. By March 2020, the Communist Party had declared that it had overcome the outbreak, praising itself for its lockdown policies. Evidence from Wuhan revealed at the time that the policies included severe human rights abuses including disappearing doctors warning about an infectious respiratory disease in the city and welding infecting people shut in their homes.
Over a year later, however, China is again experiencing a surge in cases even as the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) documented a global decline in cases this week. The Global Times insisted that the outbreak, affecting a third of the nation’s provinces, would still not become a “nationwide” problem because of China’s allegedly superior pandemic control policies.
Chinese officials have identified a tour group consisting of elderly citizens from Shanghai as the first cases to spread the disease, traveling the country and appearing to leave behind a trail of new coronavirus cases. The Global Times admitted on Thursday that the tour group had been traveling in the first week of August, a period during which the Communist Party celebrates its anniversary and encourages “red tourism” to locations with historical significance for the Party. The newspaper nonetheless attempted to blame foreign sources for the outbreaks in previous articles this week and officials in Inner Mongolia, a region about 1,000 miles away from Shanghai, implemented more sanitary measures in its ports to protect from the threat of coronavirus particles entering the country from abroad on surfaces. Scientists have largely dismissed this mode of transmission as a significant threat to humans.