The no-nonsense strategy adopted by Guangdong to fight the coronavirus has served it well in the past and it will surely see the province through the outbreaks that have resulted in scores of infections since May 21. Although more highly contagious variants are involved this time, there is no reason to believe the tough regime of targeted lockdowns, testing and restrictions to outbound travel will not stop the flare-ups. There is one difference to when the nation was threatened last year, though; vaccines are now widely available and concern about the risk has spurred a rush for jabs. It is this zero-tolerance approach, coupled with widespread immunisation, which results in herd immunity that will eventually end the global crisis. Guangdong has the population of Japan and an area about the size of Bangladesh, yet has had a fraction of the number of Covid-19 cases of those countries. Since the epidemic began 18 months ago, the province has recorded fewer than 2,500 infections, with about 45 per cent imported. Guangdong was initially China’s second-worst affected province after the epicentre, Hubei, and like elsewhere on the mainland, it has developed a sophisticated Covid-19 strategy. Depending on the level of perceived risk, buildings, streets or zones of Guangzhou and other affected cities have been closed off and residents forced to stay at home, non-essential activities suspended and mandatory testing carried out. Several million people have already been screened. Only those who have tested negative can use public transport. The same vigilance has been adopted in tackling other coronavirus clusters in Anhui and Liaoning provinces. Coupled with concern about the variants, the most worrying being a strain first identified in India and named by the World Health Organization as Delta, the cases have prompted a dramatic upswing in the number of people wanting jabs. WHO approves Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use The mainland is fast closing in on the 70 to 80 per cent vaccination level necessary to ensure herd immunity. In just five days last week, 100 million people received shots, pushing the total beyond 600 million or about 40 per cent. Authorities hope the goal of 900 million to 1 billion can be attained this year. China, with a sixth of the world’s people, is making an important contribution to the global battle. Guangdong’s mini outbreak adds to uncertainty about the relaxation of border restrictions with Hong Kong, long sought so that there can be greater movement of people. It is to be hoped that the province’s officials can repeat the remarkable achievements of the initial crisis and quickly bring clusters under control. Many of the cases found have been asymptomatic and are unlikely to have been detected without compulsory testing. But the key to vanquishing the coronavirus remains vaccination.