China: New corona wave – many millions of infections per week

China: New corona wave – many millions of infections per week

In China, the number of people infected with corona is skyrocketing again. The XXB Omicron variant spreads quickly and bypasses immunity. The peak of the wave is expected for the end of June.

With tens of millions of infections per week, a new corona wave is currently rolling through China. The number of infections has been rising steadily for weeks. In Beijing alone, Covid-19 has been the predominant virus among all infectious diseases for four weeks, according to the capital’s health commission. Schools in some parts of China have been urged to be vigilant and take preventive measures.

The leading Chinese epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan expects the wave to peak at the end of June with around 65 million new infections per week. The increase is “expected”. According to the state media, he currently assumes around 40 million infections a week. Experts pointed to the waning immunity after the massive corona wave in December and January, when 80 to 90 percent of the 1.4 billion Chinese were infected, according to vague estimates.

Official data on the number of deaths in winter are not available. Estimates by foreign experts assume around one million. According to media reports, the Ministry of Administration postponed the regular publication expected on Wednesday on the number of deaths in the fourth quarter of 2022. The crematoria were overwhelmed by the large number of corona deaths.

China is lagging behind in the Corona vaccination

After almost three years, China’s government abruptly abandoned its strict zero-Covid strategy with lockdowns, forced quarantines and mass tests at the beginning of December, without hospitals being prepared for it. However, a similarly large wave as then is not expected now. However, the health authorities warned that the elderly and the sick continue to be particularly at risk.

The XXB omicron variant, which spreads faster and escapes the immune system more easily, is predominant. However, there are no significant changes in the course of the disease. Experts in the state media said that anyone who was infected in winter could expect milder symptoms if they were infected again.

Critics pointed out that the vaccination campaign has not been intensively pursued since the winter. The authorities reported that two vaccines have now been approved to specifically target the XXB variant. When they come on the market, however, was unclear. It just said “soon”. Modern mRNA vaccines from abroad are still not approved in China.

Source: Stern

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