China reported in the last few hours that at least 13,000 people died "in relation to covid-19" between January 13 and 19, three years after the first outbreak in Wuhan that infected the entire planet.
This figure, which only reflects
those who died in hospitals
, is added to the
60,000 deaths since December
, previously announced by the authorities.
Undoubtedly, it is a partial balance in a country with 1,400 million inhabitants, in which numerous hospitals and crematoriums
were overwhelmed during the past month.
Some 13,000 people died of covid in Chinese hospitals in a week.
Photo: Jade Gao/ AFP
of the population in China contracted covid-19 since the lifting of sanitary restrictions in early December, according to epidemiologist Wu Zunyu, a leader in the country in the fight against the virus.
The measures known as "Covid-zero" decreed gigantic confinements, of entire cities when a handful of cases were detected.
Urban quarantines could last for weeks.
It was also mandatory to carry out massive tests, which made it possible to keep a count of cases.
But the social unrest caused by these measures and the impact on the Chinese economy caused them to be lifted.
Travelers were even stopped being asked to quarantine upon arrival.
China abandoned its "zero Covid" policy
after three years of strict sanitary control
Their uprising, without a contingency plan, was like
a dam breaking.
, especially in its most vulnerable population.
The end of the "Covid-zero" resulted in a sudden wave of infections without control, or testing.
Wuhan in full lockdown.
Photo: Hector Retamal/ AFP
help from the west
The European Union offered to send
medical aid in
the face of this enormous wave of infections, but China has not shown "enthusiasm" in receiving them, the European Commission's Director General for Health, Sandra Gallina, said on Monday.
The senior European official explained to the European Parliament's Committee on Public Health that community officials held a meeting with Chinese officials on January 10 and discussed the possibility of sending "not only vaccines but also antivirals such as Paxlovid (...) And the response was not enthusiastic.
has also not accepted the vaccines and medicines offered by the United States
, according to US media reports in recent weeks.
The 13,000 deaths reported by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
do not include those who have died at home
from the virus.
The situation should not improve.
It is expected that on the occasion of
the Lunar New Year Festival,
which fell on Monday, when hundreds of millions of people moved to see their relatives,
the number of deaths could rise to 36,000 per day.
Tens of millions of people traveled this weekend to reunite with their families and celebrate the most important holiday in the Chinese calendar
"There will be no second wave"
However, a Chinese health official said on Monday that the country
will not experience a second wave
of infections in the next two to three months after millions of people travel to their hometowns from big cities, as about 80% of the population has already been infected.
Crowded streets in Beijing.
"Although the large number of people traveling during the Spring Festival may promote the spread of the epidemic to a certain extent, the current wave of the epidemic has already infected about 80% of the population," said Wu Zunyou, chief of epidemiology at the CDC. in a post on the Weibo social network.
"In the short term, for example, in the next two to three months the possibility of (...) a second wave of the epidemic in the country is very low," he added.
The World Health Organization (WHO)
questions the change in the Beijing methodology to count the victims
, according to which only people who die directly from respiratory failure are included, which leaves out a large number of deaths also caused by the virus.
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