China has seen the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the country since 2020 in July 2021. The Delta variant of the virus had started to spread leading the government to take steps to curb the spread.

Widespread lockdowns and travel restrictions in combination with testing seem to have brought the situation under control in just a month. China claims that there have been no new local cases of COVID-19 on Monday, Aug. 23.

Counter pandemic measures taken by China have been strict since 2020. Large parts of the country have seen relentless lockdowns. The government also focused on contract tracing and testing to ensure that infected people remained isolated. Yet, when the Delta variant, originating in India, reached Chinese soil, the country had to ramp up the battle against the virus.

On July 20 a number of cleaning staff at the Nanjing airport were confirmed to have contracted the highly contagious Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2. The infected cluster ended up causing an outbreak that infected more than 1,200 people, CNN reported. Patients were found in more than half of the country’s 31 provinces.

In response to a few hundred infections, local authorities put millions of people in lockdown. Domestic transport was restricted. Testing and contact tracing were increased. These strict measures appeared to have worked as the National Health Commission (NHC) reported fewer cases daily. From recording around 100 daily new cases, the NHC reported that there were no new local symptomatic patients on Monday.

The authority recorded 21 new imported cases indicating that local spread has been brought under control. Reuters reported that the count decreased from 32 new cases reported a day earlier. There have also been 16 new recorded asymptomatic cases on Monday. This number too has come down from 19 that was recorded the day before.

China records asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19 infections separately. Asymptomatic patients are not taken into the national count till they start showing symptoms.

The country’s lockdown, often considered draconian, seems to have brought down the infection rate in just over a month. China has consistently recorded low numbers with the total number of infections till Aug. 22 reported as 94,652. The death toll of 4,636 has not changed since late January.

Even with the Delta variant brought under control, China has not relaxed its restrictions. Local authorities reminded people that the fight against the virus had not ended. Cautioning citizens to continue adhering to government guidelines.

China's landmark building SEG Plaza This picture shows the 300-metre SEG Plaza in Shenzhen in China's southern Guangdong province on May 19, 2021, a day after it triggered widespread panic when it began shaking and was evacuated. Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images