China claims worst of the Covid wave over

Beijing, Jan 12 (EFE).- China is past the worst of its ongoing wave of coronavirus infections, the head of the Covid-response panel under the National health Commission, Liang Wannian, said in quotes released by state media outlet CGTN late on Wednesday. 

“For the overall situation, the first wave of infections is decreasing now in China; the number of severe cases is plateauing. It’s fair to say we have weathered the worst of this round,” the expert said on Wednesday at an event at Beijing-based Tsinghua university. 

“This shows the strength of our medical system,” Liang said, although warning that  “it is still an extremely tense period, including for vulnerable groups and rural areas.” 

The withdrawal of the “zero-Covid” policy in early December was followed by an unprecedented wave of infections in China, which led to hospitals coming under massive pressure in several cities. 

Regarding the number of Covid deaths, Liang said “it would only be logical to count after the COVID-19 epidemic is over,” based on data such as excess morbidity, which will be known later. 

There is concern about the Lunar New Year which sees a huge number of travels

Although local experts have declared that the peak of infections has already been passed in major cities such as Beijing, Chengdu and Guangzhou and populous provinces such as Henan (center) have calculated that the majority of their population has already been infected, other areas have urged caution as the Lunar New Year approaches. 

The holidays accompanying the festival witness a huge number of travels as people return to their hometowns to celebrate. 

Cities such as Jinan and Shaoxing (east) have warned of the possibility of a second wave of infections close to the Lunar New Year, set to be celebrated between Jan. 21 and 27 this year. 

The Chinese state council had in December urged local governments to prioritize health services in rural areas, given their relative shortage of medical resources. 

The rapid spread of the virus has raised doubts on the reliability of official data, which has only reported a handful of Covid deaths. 

From Jan. 8, Covid-19 is no longer to be considered a category A disease, the most dangerous level that requires severe containment measures but will be considered a category B disease instead.

This marked the end of the strict zero-Covid policy, which was withdrawn by the authorities after protests. EFE

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