china outbreak coronavirus pandemic Covid-19
(Image: AP/Andy Wong)

A serious COVID-19 outbreak in China's north-east has seen new infections suddenly soar close to the 1000 mark, jolting the country’s government into action.

It’s the first sign that the Communist Party's assumed control of the disease (and growing hubris) may have been misplaced — at least for now.

It comes less than a week after Chinese authorities finally added to Wuhan's death toll, increasing it by an alarmingly neat 50% to 3869.