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इंडियन आवाज़     23 May 2024 08:29:12      انڈین آواز

China did not share hospitalization data with WHO for last two weeks as millions getting infected with COVID

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WEB DESK

China has not shared hospitalization data with the World Health Organization (WHO) for last two weeks as millions of people are getting infected daily in COVID tsunami which has swept entire country after authorities haphazardly abandoned its Zero-COVID controls earlier this month. WHO spokesperson told Prasar Bharati Beijing that the agency has not received China’s hospitalization data for last two weeks. This means that China did not report it after relaxing COVID control protocols after which cases surged unimaginably amid fears of virus mutation.

Hospitalization data is crucial for better understanding of the current COVID situation in China like exact reasons for hospitalization, severity of symptoms, profile of patient etc. Hospitals are swarmed with COVID-19 patients and ICU beds which are already miniscule for world’s largest population remain full keeping patients waiting for days. Most of the patients are in elderly category with severe symptoms and are keeping the beds engaged for longer duration. Beijing government hospitals and crematoriums also have been struggling amid rising COVID death toll. It is country’s biggest outbreak since the pandemic began in the central city of Wuhan three years ago. Experts raised concerns about potential mutations in the virus as it got a free run in the Chinese population with weak immunity.

WHO has recently asked China to come clean on COVID related data and said hospitals in China appear to be filling up. WHO’s Dr Michael Ryan said last week that China’s intensive care units (ICU) are busy despite officials saying numbers are “relatively low”. China reported no COVID deaths on the mainland for the six days through Sunday, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said on Sunday, even as crematories faced surging demand. China has narrowed its definition for classifying deaths as COVID-related, counting only those involving COVID-caused pneumonia or respiratory failure, raising concerns among world health experts.

Amid doubts and questions over reliability of official data, China stopped publishing official data from Sunday. However, provincial officials have given numbers which point to explosive outbreaks and overstretched health care systems. In China’s eastern Zhejiang province alone, the provincial government said it was experiencing about 1 million new daily cases. Officials In the eastern city of Qingdao, population 10 million, said on Friday that there were roughly half a million new cases each day, a number which is expected to rise sharply in the coming days, local news sites reported. The city of Dongguan in the southern province of Guangdong said Friday that 250,000 to 300,000 people were being infected on a daily basis.
Many international media outlets reported on a leaked estimate by China’s National Health Commission from notes at an internal meeting on Wednesday that as many as 250 million people may have been infected in the first 20 days of December, accounting for around 18 per cent of the Chinese population. In a recent briefing, the University of Washington’s Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation forecast up to 1 million deaths in 2023 if China does not maintain social distancing policies and does not work on improving vaccination among elderly population which is most vulnerable in this COVID wildfire. Risk of even bigger surge looms ahead of upcoming Chinese lunar new year when millions of Chinese will travel to their homes.

Prasar Bharati Beijing reports that traffic is slowly returning on Beijing roads and subway as anecdotal reports show around 60% of Beijing population has become infected and city may reach its peak infection in a couple of weeks. According to reports, capital city is facing immense pressure due to severe cases.

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