The first of three waves of Covid infections predicted this winter, according to a senior Chinese health official, is already occurring in China.
Since the country’s most stringent restrictions were lifted earlier this month, there has been an increase in instances.
According to the most recent government statistics, there don’t seem to be many everyday new instances.
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.
According to epidemiologist Wu Zunyou, the current outbreak of diseases will last through mid-January, and the second wave will be brought on by widespread travel during the week-long Lunar New Year celebrations that start on January 21. Typically, millions of people travel at this time to spend the holiday with their families.
According to Dr. Wu, the third spike in cases will occur from late February to mid-March when individuals resume their workdays following the break.
He stated at a briefing on Saturday that the existing vaccination rates have reduced the number of serious cases and provided some level of protection against the surges.
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.
Dr. Wu’s remarks came after a prominent US-based research agency earlier this week stated that it anticipated an increase in cases of Covid in China that might cause over a million deaths from the disease by the year 2023.
Since 7 December, when limitations were eased as a result of significant public outcry against its zero-Covid policy, the government has not formally recorded 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 institutions to provide online courses as the number of cases rises.