China Fights New Covid Variant Trend, May See 65 Million Cases Weekly: Report
Since the new XBB variants of the virus are evolving to overcome the immunity developed after China's abrupt departure from its "zero covid" policy last year, The Washington Post reported that the Chinese government is hurriedly distributing vaccines to combat an ongoing new wave of the coronavirus that is anticipated to peak in June and infect as many as 65 million people a week.
Leading Chinese epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan reportedly stated on Monday that two new vaccinations for the XBB omicron subvariants (including XBB. 1.9.1, XBB. 1.5, and XBB. 1.16) have received preliminary approval, according to official media sources cited by The Washington Post. Zhong stated at a biotech seminar in Guangzhou that three to four other vaccines will soon be approved, but he provided no further details.
Since China's strict zero-Covid programme was abandoned last winter, when up to 85% of the population was unwell, the latest outbreak may be the worst wave of diseases ever documented.
The public health emergency was declared to be over on May 11 despite the fact that the new variations led to an increase in infections in the United States, even though experts have not ruled out the possibility that new variants will lead to another wave of illnesses in the years to come, according to The Washington Post.
Authorities in China predict that the new wave will be less severe, but public health experts think that a robust vaccination booster campaign and a ready supply of antivirals in hospitals are needed to prevent another increase in death among the large senior population of the country.
In the School of Public Health at the University of Hong Kong, another epidemiologist, "There will be less illnesses. "Even though we think this is a milder wave, it could still have quite a significant health impact on the community," they continued, "the severe cases will certainly be less, and deaths will be less."
The changes have boosted the number of cases since last month, according to the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention, with Covid overtaking the flu as the most common infectious disease over the last two weeks of April.
Health professionals have reassured the public that reinfections have milder symptoms and that hospitals won't be overcrowded as they were the previous winter. According to The Washington Post, some medical facilities have advised patients who are elderly or immunocompromised to wear masks and avoid crowded areas.
The majority of the populace appears to be going about their daily lives as usual, despite the fact that restrictions akin to those that were in place during the zero-Covid era, when China strove to stop any sicknesses, have not yet been reinstated.
The impact, according to Olivia Zhang, 33, a worker at a Beijing amusement park, has not been as significant. However, she said, "But they will only be out of work for a short while before returning to work. Being around them does not make anyone nervous.
A university in Nanjing is accused of forcing students who test positive to stay in quarantine in the dorms in a number of internet complaints. According to The Washington Post, several students disclosed online that they had placed themselves in self-quarantine while at school to prevent spreading the illness to their home lives.