January 28, 2023

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China Covid deaths top 12,600 in week before Lunar New Year

China reported that around 12,600 individuals died from Covid-related causes in the week preceding the Lunar New Year celebrations, with a health official estimating that 80% of the population was infected with the virus in the current outbreak.

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 12,658 Covid-related fatalities in hospitals between Jan. 13 and 19, according to a statement issued on Saturday. Between December 8 and January 12, the nation reported 59,938 such fatalities.

Wu Zunyou, the center’s head epidemiologist, stated separately in a Weibo post that the current round affected 80% of the country’s people. While Lunar New Year travel may cause an increase in cases in some areas, Wu believes there is a “very low likelihood” of large-scale infections or a second round of an outbreak in the next two to three months.

The death toll of 60,000 covids in China has prompted calls for more data.

China had a population of 1.41 billion people by the end of 2022, implying that more than 1.1 billion individuals were infected with the virus lately in the world’s largest Covid epidemic. Wu did not go into detail about how the illnesses were spread.

Because of the abrupt removal of Covid Zero restrictions in December, hundreds of millions of people returned home for the Lunar New Year vacation for the first time since 2019.

A Covid Disaster Awaits China’s New Year Travelers

In a countrywide video speech before the holiday, President Xi Jinping singled out Covid’s rural expansion, saying he’s especially worried about efforts to combat Covid in the countryside. Health experts are concerned that the virus would wreak havoc on the weak in areas with limited health-care infrastructure, worsening the results of previous epidemics that have already stretched hospitals, overburdened crematoriums, and devastated the nation’s megacities.

On January 19, there were 471,739 Covid-related patients in hospitals across the country, including 51,683 in serious condition. The data was made public on Saturday after the World Health Organization pressed China to provide more information.

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