BEIJING (AP) — The southern Chinese city of Guangzhou shut down a neighborhood and ordered its residents to stay home Saturday for door-to-door coronavirus testing following an upsurge in infections that has rattled authorities.
Guangzhou, a business and industrial center of 15 million people north of Hong Hong, has reported 20 new infections over the past week. (The USA’s three largest cities – New York, Los Angeles, and Houston have a combined population of 15 million. Guangzhou is China’s fifth-largest city.)
The number is small compared with India’s thousands of daily cases but alarmed Chinese authorities who believed they had the disease under control.
The spread of infections was “fast and strong,” the official Global Times newspaper cited health authorities as saying.
Saturday’s order to stay home applied to residents of five streets in Liwan District in the city center.
Outdoor markets, child care centers, and entertainment venues were closed. Indoor restaurant dining was prohibited. Grade schools were told to stop in-person classes.
People in parts of four nearby districts were ordered to limit outdoor activity.
The city government earlier ordered testing of hundreds of thousands of residents following the initial infections. The government said some 700,000 people had been tested by Wednesday.
China reports a handful of new cases every day but says almost all are believed to be people who were infected abroad. The mainland’s official death toll stands at 4,636 out of 91,061 confirmed cases.
On Saturday, the National Health Commission reported two new locally transmitted cases in Guangzhou and 14 in other parts of the country that it said came from abroad.
Most of the latest infections in Guangzhou are believed to be linked to a 75-year-old woman who was found May 21 to have the variant first identified in India, state media say.
Most of the others attended a dinner with her or live together.
That infection spread to the nearby city of Nanshan, where one new confirmed case and two asymptomatic cases were reported Saturday after people from Guangzhou were tested, according to The Global Times.
Tracking covid-19 excess deaths across countries
In many parts of the world, official death tolls undercount the total number of fatalities
MAY 11TH 2021
THE ECONOMIST – As covid-19 has spread around the world, people have become grimly familiar with the death tolls that their governments publish each day. Unfortunately, the total number of fatalities caused by the pandemic may be even higher, for several reasons.
First, the official statistics in many countries exclude victims who did not test positive for coronavirus before dying—which can be a substantial majority in places with little capacity for testing.
Second, hospitals and civil registries may not process death certificates for several days, or even weeks, which creates lags in the data.
And third, the pandemic has made it harder for doctors to treat other conditions and discouraged people from going to hospital, which may have indirectly caused an increase in fatalities from diseases other than covid-19.
One way to account for these methodological problems is to use a simpler measure, known as “excess deaths”: take the number of people who die from any cause in a given region and period, and then compare it with a historical baseline from recent years. We have used statistical models to create our baselines, by predicting the number of deaths each region would normally have recorded in 2020.
Many Western countries, and some nations and regions elsewhere, regularly publish data on deaths from all causes. The table below shows that, in most places, the number of excess deaths (compared with our baseline) is greater than the number of covid-19 fatalities officially recorded by the government … Click here to see tables and read more.