China is expecting a surge in Covid-19 cases, with an estimated 65 million weekly infections, prompting heightened measures. The ongoing wave of infections has forced authorities to step up vaccination programmes to arrest the recent spike. This spike in cases is expected to peak in June. The new XBB variants of Covid-19 are mutating to overcome the immunity developed after China departed its Covid Zero policy last year. Chinese epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan announced two new vaccinations for the XBB omicron sub variants were given preliminary approval.
China lifted Covid Zero last winter and at least 85% of the population fell sick at that time. This new wave could be the largest number of infections recorded since the lifting of the stringent measures. However, Chinese officials claim that the current wave will be less severe. The elderly population is at risk and vigorous vaccination campaigns must be mounted to prevent them from getting infected.
The Beijing Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has observed a significant increase in Covid cases, surpassing flu, making it the prevailing infectious disease during the last two weeks of April. Concerned experts told the Washington Post that reinfections will have milder symptoms and hospitals won’t be overwhelmed like they were during the previous winter.
Certain medical facilities are advising mask-wearing and avoiding crowded places for vulnerable individuals and senior citizens. China has recorded over 99 million Covid-19 cases since the onset of the pandemic, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Over 121,144 have died due to Covid-19 in China and experts believe that this number also is not a true reflection of Covid deaths in the country.