A Chinese vice mayor has been confirmed dead, with state media attributing his death to overwork during a period his city worked tirelessly to protect itself from a Delta outbreak.
Pan Dongsheng, the vice mayor and director of public security bureau in Fuzhou, the capital city of Fujian province, died in hospital on Sunday after sudden illness, the Global Times reported.
According to a statement made by the Fuzhou public security bureau on its official WeChat account on Sunday, Pan, in his 50s, had been working long hours in recent weeks, which contributed to his death.
Fujian has been the epicentre of a recent Covid outbreak of several hundred cases in China, with authorities scrambling to eliminate the virus from society.
Beijing has implemented a largely successful eradication strategy since the virus emerged in Wuhan in late 2019 and has enforced draconian lockdowns and mass testing in a bid to suppress the virus.
Pan's busy schedule prior to his death has been revealed and shows he joined the city's epidemic prevention and control meeting on Wednesday, and visited hospitals to pay tribute to the frontline medics on Thursday.
There is no indication from the Global Times Pan acquired Covid-19.
Imminent travel of 600 million people prompts debate
China's eradication strategy has prompted debate in recent weeks with a week-long national holiday to celebrate the formation of the People's Republic of China.
About 600 million people in China travel during the holidays with a Global Times editorial earlier this month questioning whether blanket restrictions for travel across the nation were needed.
"We need to gradually enhance the accurate efficiency of our dynamic zero-case route," the newspaper said.
"We should avoid a complete halt on a large scale. We have to strive for early detection of each outbreak. We also need to make sure that we can contain it faster so that it will cause less harm to the society."
Fujian is a coastal province popular with tourists with millions drawn to cities such as Xiamen during holiday periods.
Authorities in Wenzhou, in neighbouring Zhejiang province, have urged residents to not travel to Fujian during the upcoming holiday period.
Cases have since begun to fall in the province, with authorities believing the outbreak's peak has passed.
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