China is suffering a devastating second wave of coronavirus cases as millions of citizens and major cities go into lockdown.
Coronavirus cases have reappeared in 35 cities and in 17 of China's 33 provinces, according to the Associated Press. Chinese propaganda outlet Global Times has called the spike in cases the "most serious since Wuhan." In response to the outbreak, Chinese officials have reinstated mandatory testing in several cities and forced millions of people back into lockdowns. The cities of Nanjing and Yangzhou have also canceled flights, and 23 train stations across the country have halted all long-distance trips.
Beijing is battling its latest outbreak of the coronavirus as the highly contagious Delta variant forces new lockdowns and restrictions worldwide. China's response to the spike in cases could be complicated by the communist country's vaccine development. The Beijing-created Sinovac vaccine—which the vast majority of vaccinated Chinese have taken—has an efficacy rate of 50 percent, compared with vaccine effectiveness rates of more than 90 percent for U.S.-produced vaccines.
Revelations about China's latest COVID struggles also come as a new House Foreign Affairs Committee report sheds more light on Beijing's efforts to conceal information about the outbreak during the earliest stages of the pandemic, which may have started in Wuhan as early as September 2019.