China Covid Alert : China is grappling to handle enormous Covid surge mounting further pressure on the country’s healthcare facilities since the government lifted its stringent anti-virus control following public protest against the zero-Covid policy.
According to reports, several Chinese cities, including Beijing are under the grip of fast spreading Omicron variant of coronavirus. Health officials confirmed that Chinese cities are currently hit by highly transmissible Omicron strains mainly BA.5.2 and BF.7, which are spreading like wildfire.According to one estimate, over 70 per cent of the city’s population has been hit by the virus, which confined millions of people to their homes.
Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist and health economist, said hospitals across China are overwhelmed since Covid restrictions were removed. Feigl-Ding shared a video on his Twitter handle showing a hospital brimming with patients. He further warned that deaths due to Covid could be in millions.
Cremation centres unable to handle pressure
Many residents in capital Beijing are struggling to get hold of medicine, with long queues at hospital fever clinics and a spike in calls for ambulances. The city’s funeral centres too was under pressure with more cremations, a report in South China Morning Post said.At the Beijing Dongjiao Funeral Home, which handles Covid cases, grieving relatives say they have been waiting for days to have family members cremated, the report said.
“Cremation in Beijing nonstop. Morgues are overloaded. Refrigerated containers needed. 24/7 funerals. 2000 bodies backlogged for cremations. Sound familiar? It is spring 2020 all over again— but this time for China, emulating more Western-mass infection approach,” Eric Feigl-Ding said in his Twitter thread.
Three deadly Covid waves
Leading Chinese epidemiologists say the epidemic will peak in January and February, although the number of Covid infections will continue to increase in a short term. Epidemiologist Wu Zunyou has said the current spike in infections would run until mid-January, while the second wave would then be triggered by mass travel in January around the week-long Lunar New Year celebrations which begin on January 21.
The third surge in cases would run from late February to mid-March as people return to work after the holiday, Dr Wu was quoted in the media as saying.