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Beijing expects COVID surge as spike risk worries experts | Coronavirus pandemic news


Beijing faces a spike in severe COVID-19 cases over the next two weeks, a respiratory expert in China said, amid global concern over possible spikes and spikes. a knock-on effect on the world economy after China unexpectedly lifted its strict zero COVID-19 regulation. policy.

The easing restrictions across China has coincided with a infection Experts say the outbreak is likely to accelerate through the winter, with some predictions even suggesting China could face more than a million deaths next year, Reuters news agency reported. .

“We must act quickly and prepare fever clinics, urgent and serious treatment resources,” Wang Guangfa, a respiratory specialist from Peking University No. Global Times on Tuesday.

Wang said hospitals should prioritize expanding ICU beds, and the peak of the COVID-19 epidemic will likely last until the end of China’s Lunar New Year, which will fall on January 22.

Wang said COVID-19 infections will then decrease and life will gradually return to normal around late February and early March.

After the peak of the epidemic, people must not let their guard down, Wang added, describing “catastrophic consequences” if the virus was again transmitted between humans and animals.

“The current strain of COVID-19 may be less virulent, but it may not be the same for animals. It may seem less severe for animals, but at some point, the virus can still spread to humans, causing serious consequences,” Wang said.

Following widespread protests in China earlier this month, the country of 1.4 billion people has begun to lift lockdown measures and “no COVID” testing, much of which has helped contain the virus for three years. years at great economic and psychological costs.

Narrow definition of death from COVID-19

China, which uses a narrow definition of what can be classified as a COVID death, reported no new COVID deaths on December 20, compared with five. died the day before.

The nation’s total number of deaths since the pandemic began has been revised to 5,241 after removing one death in Beijing.

Amid doubts that China’s COVID death toll is very low by global standards, China’s National Health Commission (NHC) on Tuesday clarified that only deaths from pneumonia and respiratory failure after infection with the new virus is classified as a COVID-related death.

A fatal heart attack or cardiovascular disease in an infected person would not be classified there.

Benjamin Mazer, assistant professor of pathology at Johns Hopkins University, said the Chinese classification system would miss “a lot of cases”, especially when people are vaccinated, including the shots. of China, are less likely to die from pneumonia.

Blood clots and sepsis — a severe response to infection — have caused countless deaths in COVID patients around the world.

“It makes no sense to adopt the March 2020 mindset when only COVID pneumonia can kill you, when we know that in the post-vaccine era, there are all sorts of variables,” Mazer said. medical condition.

The NHC also downplayed concerns raised by the United States and some epidemiologists about the possibility of the virus mutating in China, saying that the likelihood of new pathogenic strains emerging was low.

Some leading scientists and World Health Organization advisers say it may be too early to declare the end of the emergency phase of the global COVID pandemic as a potentially devastating wave is to come. in China.

The United States said on Tuesday it was ready to assist China in the outbreak, warning of an uncontrolled spread in the country. second largest economy in the world could have an impact on global growth.

The full impact of “COVID-free” elimination remains highly uncertain due to China’s patchy vaccine coverage, fragile health system, and lack of clarity on the true extent of infection. when cases started to increase.

Some hospitals in China have been overwhelmed with patients and some cities are dealing with shortages of medicine and blood as pharmacy shelves are left empty and Overloaded crematorium after years of closures, quarantines and mass testing.

From the northeast to the southwest of the country, crematorium workers have told Agence France-Presse they are struggling to keep up with the rise in the death toll.

Beijing last week acknowledged the scale of the outbreak has become “unable” to track after the end of the mandatory batch test.

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