Amid China's punishing heat wave, which experts say could be the worst ever recorded in world history, residents are having to line up for mandatory COVID-19 testing.
A video from Chongqing city, shared on Twitter, showed a street brimming with people wearing masks. Some were carrying babies. Other fanned themselves for some relief.
In the background, clouds of smoke, apparently from a wildfire caused by the extreme heat, were seen in the sky.
Some people fainted in the heat, CNN reported.
Stupid #COVID19 testing still on when the temperature in #Chongqing City, #CCPChina is as high as 45 degrees or 113 degrees Fahrenheit.
My latest show #China Hit Hard by Record-Breaking Heat Wave & Drought, #BankRun in #Beijing & Medical Fund Crisis
at https://t.co/JPDskC5I3W pic.twitter.com/nRtV28UY6R
Frequently Asked QuestionsView moreShowView moreHow does a vaccine work?
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.How many types of vaccines are there?
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
— Jennifer Zeng 曾錚 (@jenniferatntd) August 26, 2022
China has drawn global scrutiny for its harsh COVID-control policy. In their pursuit of zero infections, Chinese authorities have locked down cities of millions of people and forcibly taken people to quarantine centres.
In Chongqing, 40 Covid infections reported on Wednesday led authorities to order 10 million people to get tested, CNN reported.
People lined up for tests in temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius.
China has seen more than two months of heat waves, droughts and flash floods, news agency AFP reported. Climate change is making these extreme weather events more frequent.
Power cuts to deal with the rise in electricity demands have exacerbated people's troubles. In bustling streets, lights have been turned off to save energy.
Desperate citizens are sheltering from the extreme weather in subway stations.
The worst-affected region has been the Yangtze river basin, that houses over 370 million people and hosts the megacity of Chongqing and many manufacturing hotspots.
The vital Yangtze river is drying, its water flow significantly lower than the average level recorded over the last five years.
The extreme weather has also posed a severe threat to China's autumn harvest. The authorities have promised new measures to protect the country's produce.
(With inputs from AFP)