Mainland China reported 214 domestically transmitted cases of covid-19 on Monday, the highest in two years, according to data published by China’s National Health Commission. China doesn’t count asymptomatic infections, which means that its numbers are likely going to get worse, since people without symptoms are still able to spread the disease.
Officially, China reported 327 new cases on Monday, though 113 were “imported” cases that are sent directly to managed isolation and weren’t infectious in the community. It’s those 214 local cases that China is most worried about, as the country has successfully kept covid-19 infections very low relative to the rest of the world after the disease originated in Wuhan in late 2019.
The hardest hit areas in China on Monday included Guangdong province (51 new cases), Shanghai municipality (32 new cases), and Sichuan province (11 new cases), with single-digital cases in Beijing, Henan, Guangxi Zhuang, Tianjin, Jilin, Shandong, and Chongqing.
China has reported just 111,195 confirmed cases and 4,636 deaths since the pandemic began, an incredible achievement in a country of almost 1.4 billion people. By comparison, the U.S. has reported over 79.2 million cases and over 957,000 deaths since the pandemic began. China’s top health officials have managed the feat through draconian lockdowns, which have been attempted elsewhere, and a strategy of mass testing that has only been rarely used outside of China.
In fact, Hong Kong, which is currently experiencing the worst covid-19 surge the territory has ever seen, has started to adopt a mass testing regime that mirrors mainland China. Health officials in the city of roughly 7.5 million people are trying to test everyone for the disease three times in the next month in an effort to catch every single case.
The U.S. is currently averaging 48,355 new cases each day and 1,506 new deaths. And while those numbers are moving in the right direction, they’re still incredibly high by international standards.