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China panic: Beijing admits 'new wave of Delta' cases as three high-risk areas identified

Delta variant ‘is a different kind of beast’ says Walensky

This new wave of the highly transmissible Delta variant is spreading fast through historic Nanjing, Fujian province, the megacity of Chongqing and Zhangjiajie in Hunan Province. More than 200 cases of the virus have been linked to an original cluster at an international airport, according to Chinese state media. Cases have also been reported in Sichuan and Liaoning provinces.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Nanjing, in Jiangsu province, have been plunged into lockdown conditions.

Mi Feng, a spokesman for China's National Health Commission, announced: "The main strain circulating at present is the Delta variant, which poses an even greater challenge to virus prevention and control work."

As of Saturday afternoon, China has three high-risk areas and 70 medium-risk areas across the seven provinces.

The news comes as the World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged nation's to contain the mutation before it evolves again into a deadlier strain.

China is experiencing a new wave of coronavirus

China is experiencing a new wave of coronavirus (Image: GETTY)

The WHO has stated that globally there has been an 80 percent average increase in infections over the past four weeks fuelled by the Delta variant.

The high transmissibility of the Delta variant has forced the previously near impregnable China to ramp up its coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Even stalwart of the Chinese Communist Party, The Global Times has admitted the country is experiencing a "new wave of the Delta variant strain outbreak" that is currently concentrated in Jiangsu Province, however it warns the strain "may continue to spread to more regions in the short term".

The Global Times also states there is also an outbreak of the strain in Zhangjiajie in Central China's Hunan Province.

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China is experiencing a new wave of coronavirus

China is experiencing a new wave of coronavirus (Image: GETTY)

The state-controlled tabloid added China has, "powerful comprehensive control measures in the two cities" to stop the spread of the variant.

Travellers within the cities of Zhangjiajie and Nanjing have been told to delay "cancel intra-provincial trips".

This province that has recently been beset by severe flooding has, in the words of the Global Times, "become another key point of the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic".

Quoting He Qinghua, a senior official with the National Health Commission, stated: "Due to the above three characteristics, the Nanjing outbreak has spread to other regions within and outside Jiangsu Province.

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China is experiencing a new wave of coronavirus

China is experiencing a new wave of coronavirus (Image: GETTY)

"There is a risk that it will continue to spread to more regions."

Although the official added: "By now, our epidemic prevention measures are still effective."

Referring to the spread of the Delta variant in July, The Global Times said that, "China reported an accumulative total of 328 domestically transmitted cases in July alone".

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