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Infection rate could be over 50% in Beijing, situation serious in China: Report

A resident consults a medical worker at a fever clinic in Lianhu District of Xi’an, northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, Dec. 21, 2022. Fever clinics have been set up in cities including Xi’an and Changsha to provide timely treatment to patients with COVID-19 symptoms. (Photo by Zou Jingyi/Xinhua)

New Delhi, Dec 22 (IANS) Although China has not released any detailed numbers of the Covid infections, the infection rate could be over 50 per cent in the greater Beijing area, even more than 70 per cent in the worst-hit areas, the media reported on Thursday.

According to an analysis in Nikkei Asia, it is being said crematories in Greater Beijing are operating at full capacity “but that some bodies are having to wait to be burned”.

“The situation is serious,” the report mentioned.

While the omicron variant kills relatively few of the people it infects, but “the variant will deal a heavier-than-expected blow to China due to the country’s large elderly population,” according to the report.

China ceased its strict zero-Covid policy in November and since then, the country has seen a spike and the spread has been faster than anticipated, “bringing medical care and other crucial functions to a standstill”.

As restrictions were further eased at the beginning of this month, young people began crowding into shops and public venues.

“Cluster infections broke out at primary and middle schools, at elderly care centres, and elsewhere. The virus was then brought into homes,” according to the report.

According to some companies, one out of every two employees have been infected.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also said that amid an ongoing resurgence of the Covid pandemic in China, hospitals across the country appear to be filling up.

The Chinese capital’s medical institutions have been overwhelmed by the recent coronavirus outbreak, according to the report.

“Hospitals are overwhelmed. Elderly patients with fevers of nearly 40 C, or 104 F, have the choice of waiting six hours outside the hospitals or going home. Many choose the latter,” it added.

Chinese health authorities on Monday announced only two additional deaths.

“No one in China believes the toll is that low as many people have witnessed the deaths of elderly family members or neighbours,” said the report.

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