China Covid: Health expert predicts three winter waves

Image credit: RNZ

The first of three waves of COVID infections expected this winter, according to a senior Chinese health official, is currently occurring in China.

Since the country’s most stringent restrictions were lifted earlier this month, there has been an increase in cases.

According to the most recent government statistics, there don’t seem to be many new instances every day.

Due to a recent decrease in COVID testing, there are worries that these figures are an underestimate.

On Sunday, the authorities only reported 2,097 daily new cases.

The second wave would then be brought on by widespread travel during the week-long Lunar New Year celebrations that start on January 21, which would trigger the second wave. Millions of people often travel at this time of year to celebrate the holiday with their families.

According to Dr. Wu, there will be a third peak in cases from late February to mid-March when people start going back to work after the vacation.

He stated at a briefing on Saturday that the existing vaccination rates provided some protection from the surges and had led to a decrease in the number of serious cases.

China claims that more than 90% of its people have received all recommended vaccinations. However, fewer than 50% of adults 80 and older have had all three vaccination doses. Severe COVID symptoms are more common in older adults.

A lot of the rest of the world uses mRNA vaccinations, but China has created and produced vaccines that have been proven to be less efficient at preventing major COVID sickness and death than those vaccines.

Since 7 December, when limitations were eased as a result of significant public outcry against its “zero-COVID” policy, the government has not formally reported any COVID deaths. Mass testing was also stopped as a result.

Anecdotal accounts of deaths connected to COVID’s appearance in Beijing do exist, though.

Hospitals there and in other towns are having a hard time keeping up with the influx, which has also severely impacted mail and catering services.

Shanghai, the largest city in China, has ordered the majority of its schools to offer online courses as the number of cases rises.

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