Chinese authorities are scrambling to suppress yet another outbreak in far-flung Xinjiang after a 17-year-old garment factory worker tested positive.
Health authorities reported 137 new cases on Sunday, all of which were confirmed in Xinjiang Province, making this by far the largest new outbreak since the Spring. In keeping with Beijing's prescribed "wartime posture" approach, authorities last night launched a mass-testing campaign to try and test all 4.75 million residents in and around the city of Kashgar. A couple of weeks ago, authorities pulled off a similarly massive testing drive in Qingdao, a city in the eastern Shangdong Province.
Thanks to sweeping smartphone-based mass surveillance/case-tracking, scapegoating and outright suppression of case numbers and deaths, China has managed to drive COVID-19 case numbers to almost zero. In Wuhan, locals travel to bars and concerts, sometimes, taking rapid COVID-19 tests, with their infection status logged on their smartphones in a way that can be examined by bouncers at the door.
To further confuse the international community, along with the Chinese public, China's national health authorities have divided case classifications into imported vs. domestic and asymptomatic vs symptomatic.
Here's how the 'official' tally of cases has evolved in recent weeks.
The new cases, all classified as asymptomatic, were linked to a factory in Shufu county where the 17-year-old girl and her parents worked, according to the Xinjiang health commission, which held a press briefing on Sunday following an exhaustive investigation of the source of the outbreak by Beijing's NHC.
As of Sunday afternoon more than 2.8 million samples had been collected in the area and the rest would be completed within two days, the city government said in a statement.
Kashgar, near the country's borders with Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, is the cultural home of China's Turkic Muslim ethnic Uighurs, a group that the CCP has relentlessly pressed into reeducation camps and concentration camps to force them to accept the country's governing Communist ideology.
The crackdown as provoked international outbreak, and a barrage of sanctions imposed by the US on officials and companies involved with the mass-detention program.