Last Updated on 2022/12/22
Several cities are offering free anti-fever medications. China reports no COVID deaths for the second day in a row. The first mRNA vaccinations for German expats arrive in China.
Following massive protests and an increase in instances, China abruptly changed rules last month and began dismantling its “zero-COVID” system, which has imposed a significant financial and psychological toll on its 1.4 billion citizens. Nonetheless, China’s official death toll since the epidemic began three years ago is 5,241, a fraction of what most other nations experienced. A Shanghai hospital has warned its workers to brace themselves for a “tragic struggle” with COVID-19, predicting that half of the city’s 25 million inhabitants would be afflicted by the end of the year as the virus spreads uncontrolled throughout China.
China reported no new COVID fatalities for the second day in a row on December 21, despite funeral home workers saying demand has increased in the last week, driving up expenses.
Authorities identified 389,306 instances with symptoms after narrowing the threshold for COVID fatalities, provoking condemnation from several disease experts. According to some analysts, official data have grown untrustworthy since testing has decreased across China as limitations have been relaxed.
According to a post on the Shanghai Deji Hospital’s official WeChat account late Wednesday, there are around 5.43 million positives in the city, with 12.5 million infected by the end of the year.
Shanghai citizens were subjected to a two-month lockdown that ended on June 1, causing many to lose their jobs and have limited access to essential needs. Hundreds of people died and hundreds of thousands were infected over the course of two months.
According to Reuters, China might risk over a million COVID fatalities next year due to poor complete immunization rates among its susceptible senior population.
China’s immunization rate is more than 90%, however the proportion for adults who have gotten booster injections falls to 57.9%, and 42.3% for persons aged 80 and up, according to government data.
CCTV footage from a hospital in Beijing showed rows of elderly patients in the intensive care unit inhaling via oxygen masks. It was unknown how many people have COVID.
Han Xue, deputy head of the hospital’s emergency department, told CCTV that they were getting 400 patients every day, four times the average number. The World Health Organization’s director-general expressed alarm about the increase in illnesses and urged the government to focus on vaccination people most at risk.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters that the organization needs more precise information on illness severity, hospital admissions, and the need for critical care units in order to conduct a thorough review.
China’s policy reversal caught a vulnerable health system off guard, causing hospitals to scramble for beds and blood, pharmacists to scramble for medications, and officials to race to create special clinics.
Smaller cities located distant from the prosperous eastern and southern coasts are especially susceptible. Tongchuan, a 700,000-person city in northeastern Shaanxi province, asked on Wednesday for all retired medical staff to join the fight against COVID.
According to state media, local governments are attempting to address prescription shortages, while pharmaceutical businesses are working extra hours to increase supply.
According to a report in the state-run Global Times, cities around the country were giving millions of ibuprofen pills to medical facilities and retail shops.
Germany announced the shipment of its first batch of BioNTech (22UAy.DE) COVID vaccinations to China, where they would be administered to German ex-pats. Berlin is advocating for the admission of additional foreign nationals.
These would be China’s first mRNA vaccinations, which are thought to be the most effective against the disease.
Nine COVID vaccines produced in China have been licensed for use.
According to some Chinese analysts, the COVID wave will peak in late January, with life returning to normal by late February or early March.
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