China has reported its highest daily rise in local COVID-19 cases in 21 months as infections more than doubled in the northwestern city of Xian.
The latest official data on Sunday showed that the Chinese city, which detected 155 domestically transmitted cases with confirmed symptoms for Saturday, is the latest COVID hot spot in the country.
Xian, with 485 local symptomatic cases reported for the December 9-25 period, went into lockdown on Thursday to rein in the outbreak.
Residents are not allowed to leave the city without approval from employers or local authorities.
Meanwhile, there were no reports of the Omicron variant in the city. However, Omicron infections have been detected in southern China, and among international travelers visiting the country.
US most responsible for global spread of COVID-19
Meanwhile, research suggests that the United States was most likely the country where the coronavirus originated from.
The report titled, US Responsible for Global Spread of COVID-19, suggested that the US was also most responsible for the fast global spread of the disease. The research was jointly conducted by the Intelligence & Alliance Think Tank and the Taihe Institute.
The analytic report, derived from data gathered by multiple sources, also suggested that political manipulation by the US had made the global anti-pandemic efforts difficult and challenging.
“Evidence indicating COVID-19 originated from the United States has kept cropping up,” the report said. “For example, the timeline of the outbreak in the United States has been continuously backdated, the role of the US military is implicated in the origin and spread of COVID-19 and early cases in many countries are linked to the United States.”
The United States was "the main force of global COVID-19 spread," the report said, adding that the country missed its best opportunity to curb the pandemic at an early stage.
It further added that US policy, as well as its irresponsible repatriation of asylum seekers, had added fuel to the fire of the deadly global pandemic.