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Suspension of flights to and from Nanjing to expire

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Suspension of flights to and from Nanjing to expire

Nanjing airport covid
Photo: Nanjing Airport

The Chinese government’s suspension of flights to and from Nanjing Lukou International Airport will lapse today.

Flights at the airport were suspended in late July after an outbreak of 171 cases in Jiangsu Province was attributed to the busy airport. In the 17 months before the spike, the province had reported less than 20 new cases. However, since the suspension, the 7-day average number of cases has increased from 25 to 46, with almost 400 new cases being reported.

Positive cases caused by the Delta Variant are continuing to increase throughout China, so the deadline will likely be extended. Government downplaying of the virus’s severity is also likely to occur, as China has undercounted positive cases throughout the pandemic. Increased lack of transparency will lead to more difficulty containing the variant, especially regionally.  Although China has made efforts to build soft power by supplying surplus vaccines to other countries, these efforts will likely be undercut by the government’s misrepresentation of data, which has caused difficulty in containing COVID-19. Furthermore, countries who receive the Chinese Sinovac vaccine may struggle to vaccinate their citizens, as constant data misrepresentation has eroded trust in the vaccine’s efficacy, regardless of confirmed scientific data.

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