China’s top Covid official confirms cases at ‘low level’ in bid to ease Lunar New Year worries
- Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan says Covid-19 prevention efforts ‘stable and orderly’, citing steady decrease in severe infections
- However, another wave of outbreaks is expected as people travel for family holiday gatherings
Sun said treatment of severe cases was still a “tough task” that should be handled by high-level hospitals.
Positive cases have dropped 44.3 per cent since peaking nationwide on January 5, National Health Commission official Guo Yanhong said on Thursday.
She said the number of patients at fever clinics and emergency services also peaked between late December and early January.
As of Tuesday, 99.5 per cent of those in clinics were non-Covid patients while 85 per cent of those in hospitals were non-Covid patients, Guo said.
But another peak is expected as the Lunar New Year approaches and people travel across the country to reunite with their families for the most important festival of the year.
China will see a “larger and more severe wave” than previously predicted, according to the latest analysis by British science data firm Airfinity.
The report said cases could peak at 4.8 million a day, with 62 million infections predicted from January 13 to January 27, followed by a decline. It noted that the virus had spread quickly to rural areas, partly driven by people travelling for Lunar New Year celebrations.