China’s Zhejiang records 1 million daily Covid cases, expected to double: Report

China’s Zhejiang is battling around one million new daily Covid-19 cases, a number is expected to double in the days ahead, the provincial government said on Sunday, as quoted by news agency Reuters. 

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said that China reported no Covid-19 deaths on the mainland for the five days through Saturday. 

After Beijing made sweeping changes to a zero-Covid policy that had put hundreds of millions of its citizens under relentless lockdowns and battered the world’s second-largest economy, citizens and experts have called for more accurate data as infections surged. 

As the National Health Commission stopped reporting asymptomatic infections, nationwide figures from China had become incomplete. The commission had today also said that it will not publish daily Covid figures, as per Reuters reports. 

In an official statement, the Zhejiang government said, “The infection peak is estimated to arrive earlier in Zhejiang and to enter a period of elevated level around New Year’s Day, during which the daily new infection number will be as high as 2 million.”

Among 13,583 infections being treated in the province’s hospitals, one patient had severe symptoms caused by Covid, while 242 infections of severe and critical conditions were caused by underlying diseases, the statement read. 

In China, intensive care units are turning away ambulances, relatives of sick people are searching for beds, and patients are slumped on benches in hospital corridors and lying on floors for a lack of beds.

Experts have forecast between a million and 2 million deaths in China next year, and the World Health Organisation warned that Beijing’s way of counting would “underestimate the true death toll.”

According to radio Free Asia citing leaked government documents circulating on social media, almost 250 million people in China may have been affected by Covid-19 in just 20 days after the ‘zero-covid policy’ was diluted in the first week of the month.

The report came at the time when British-based health data firm Airfinity, said that the infections in China are likely to be more than one million a day with deaths at more than 5,000 a day.

 

(With Reuters inputs)

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