Covid-19: China removes two senior officials

Two senior officials have been removed from their jobs in the Chinese city of Qingdao after a fresh outbreak of the new coronavirus there. The head of the chest hospital where the outbreak reportedly began as well as the senior communist party official on the city’s health commission have been suspended.

A mass testing process is under way to try to contain the outbreak. Authorities say half the population of around 5 million people have been tested, no new cases have been confirmed so far. The total number stands at 12 – all of whom are symptomatic.

The sacking or suspension of communist party officials or senior management figures has been commonplace as a form of punishment after outbreaks.

The mayor of Wuhan, where the pandemic is thought to have originated, apologised earlier in the year for not telling the public and other party officials sooner about evidence of the outbreak.

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