COVID-19 may engulf 60% of China's population in 3 months
China is facing a fresh spike in COVID-19 cases, with healthcare and crematorium facilities becoming overwhelmed, according to reports. Latest estimates said the sudden lifting of strict COVID-19 restrictions would likely cause a massive surge in coronavirus cases. Epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding said over 60% of China's population would likely be infected over the next three months, resulting in millions of deaths worldwide, ANI reported.
Why does this story matter?
- China has been struggling to contain an unprecedented rise in COVID-19 cases. However, the total number of cases is said to be lower than the peak in Europe and the US.
- After a strict COVID-19 lockdown of over three months, widespread protests against COVID-19 curbs broke out.
- Subsequently, some cities reportedly eased restrictions regarding testing requirements, control of movement, and quarantine rules, too.
60% of China will be affected with COVID-19: Epidemiologist
Leading American epidemiologist-public health scientist Feigl-Ding stated China was witnessing a huge rise in coronavirus infections after the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. According to him, hospitals in China are utterly overwhelmed. Feigl-Ding predicted that over 60% of China would be infected with COVID-19 in the next 90 days along with 10% of the world's population, adding millions of deaths may be reported globally.
'Thermonuclear Bad': Expert on China's current COVID-19 scene
⚠️THERMONUCLEAR BAD—Hospitals completely overwhelmed in China ever since restrictions dropped. Epidemiologist estimate >60% of 🇨🇳 & 10% of Earth’s population likely infected over next 90 days. Deaths likely in the millions—plural. This is just the start—🧵pic.twitter.com/VAEvF0ALg9— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) December 19, 2022
Hospitals, crematoriums overburdened
According to several reports and social media posts, hospitals in China are being overburdened owing to an increase in infections. Mortuaries are also working overtime to deal with the rise in COVID-19-related fatalities. However, no official confirmation regarding the same has been issued. Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported one of Beijing's crematoria designated for COVID-19 patients has been overwhelmed with bodies in recent days.
Over 1 million deaths predicted in coming days
China's rapid removal of its strict COVID-19 restrictions might cause a case boom and more than a million fatalities through 2023, per US-based Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). It predicted infections in China would peak around April 1, 2023, by which time it could witness 322,000 fatalities. IHME Director Christopher Murray said COVID-19 would infect one-third of China's population by that time.
Chinese administration downplays escalating situation
Despite recording more than 10,000 daily infections since mid-November, China has continued to downplay the crisis's escalating situation. Reportedly, it officially reported only 11 deaths since mid-November. However, the employees at crematoriums and the unofficial videos of China's overcrowded hospitals paint a very different story.
Beijing's leading crematorium receives 200 bodies daily
According to reports, the Dongjiao Crematory, run by the municipality of Beijing and designated for COVID-19-positive patients, is reportedly on the verge of collapse. The crematorium's staff estimated that about 200 bodies were arriving daily, up from 30-40 on an average day. The staff has reportedly been overworking, and several of the workers have lately contracted the rapidly spreading virus, as per ANI.
Current COVID-19 scenario in China
Reportedly, on Monday (December 19), China recorded 2,722 new symptomatic COVID-19 infections, up from 1,995 the previous day. Of these, 2,656 were new local cases (not including imported cases), up from 1,918 a day earlier. As of Monday, mainland China had 383,175 confirmed COVID-19 patients with symptoms. However, in the upcoming months, the number of COVID-19 cases and fatalities is expected to rise exponentially.