Will China experience a new extreme wave of Covid cases?

Surge may reach 65 million cases per week
Will China experience a new extreme wave of Covid cases?
China might brace for new Covid wave

A new report suggested China might be bracing itself for a new wave of Covid cases, with the latest omicron variant, XBB, fueling a resurgence in infections. The surge is expected to reach its peak at the end of June, with as many as 65 million cases per week. This is a surprising prediction for a country that only months ago had enforced some of the harshest Covid control protocols on the planet. The response from China’s government and the public is relatively muted this time.

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Respiratory disease specialist Zhong Nanshan revealed the new wave’s data at a medical conference in Guangzhou, stating that the wave was “anticipated” and modeling suggested China could be approaching 40 million infections per week. The US, by comparison, was reporting more than 5 million cases a week at its peak last January. 

Though the current wave will not equal the “tsunami” of cases experienced in December and January, older people and those with underlying diseases are still relatively under-vaccinated and are at high risk for developing severe diseases. The US State Department is discussing China’s second Covid wave with allies and partners, but it has not yet announced whether travel restrictions are under consideration. 

The situation in China is a reminder that the pandemic is far from over, and vigilance is still crucial in preventing and containing the spread of the virus. 

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