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Almost five million infections and 36,000 deaths every day: China's corona wave is apparently reaching its peak


The worst will soon be over. However, the number of deaths and infections in China is currently at record levels – at least according to calculations.

The worst will soon be over.

However, the number of deaths and infections in China is currently at record levels – at least according to calculations.

Munich/Beijing – It was once again one of the biggest TV events of the year: According to official figures, around one in five Chinese sat in front of the television on Sunday night to watch the gala at the start of the Chinese New Year on state TV.

As every year, the four-hour program was a mixture of a Helene Fischer show and an infomercial, garnished with a bit of party propaganda.

But what was different this time: For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, the handpicked audience no longer had to wear a mask.

In general, the creators of the show did everything to start the Year of the Rabbit as carefree as possible – not a word about the corona pandemic, which is still not over in China.

Instead pure good mood.

China is currently at the peak of the pandemic.

According to calculations by the London-based company Airfinity, which specializes in health data, the number of daily new infections could have risen to a peak of 4.8 million per day by Friday at the latest.

After that, according to the analysts, the number will drop again.

In some provinces, including Henan, Gansu, Qinghai and Yunnan, the number of infections has already peaked.

These are the largest cities in China

These are the largest cities in China

Experts estimate that 884,000 people have already died of Corona in China

Airfinity also expects a peak in daily deaths on Thursday, with 36,000 deaths within 24 hours.

The company is thus correcting older calculations upwards, which had assumed a maximum of 25,000 deaths in one day.

The Airfinity experts originally predicted two curves of infection, but now they are assuming a single larger and longer wave.

This will further increase the pressure on hospitals and could result in higher mortality.

According to Airfinity calculations, a total of 884,000 people in China have died from or with Corona since the beginning of December.

The company puts the number of infected people at 134 million.

China's official numbers remain far too low

China's authorities, on the other hand, report significantly lower death tolls.

The National Health Commission in Beijing had already declared a few days ago that almost 60,000 people died from or with Corona between December 8 and January 12.

On Wednesday, the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the daily death toll had peaked at 4,000 on Jan. 4.

Around December 22, there were seven million infections a day, since then this number has been falling.

China's top epidemiologist Wu Zunyou said over the weekend that up to 80 percent of all Chinese had already contracted the virus, i.e. more than a billion people.

In China, only deaths that occurred within medical facilities are counted.

In addition, the authority had previously stated that only deaths would be included in the statistics if those affected had died of pneumonia or respiratory failure.

The government in Beijing has not reported daily figures on the incidence of infection for a few weeks.

China celebrates the Lunar New Year, and the virus travels with it

Hundreds of millions of people across China are currently traveling to their relatives to celebrate the holiday marking the start of the Year of the Rabbit - or are already on their way home.

According to estimates by China's Ministry of Transport, 2.1 billion trips will be made by mid-February, many of them from the cities to the countryside, where the health system is significantly less well developed than in the large metropolises.

The population in rural areas is also significantly older than in the cities.

And just over 40 percent of people over 80 in China have had a third shot, meaning they are adequately protected against the virus.


In rural areas, like here in the southwest Chinese region of Xishuangbanna, the healthcare system is poorly equipped.

© Noel Celis/afp

The government in Beijing lifted all corona measures in a surprising step on December 7, 2022.

The country had previously tried for around three years to keep the spread of the corona virus in check with a trio of lockdowns, mass tests and forced quarantine.

Even under the impression of demonstrations across the country against this zero-Covid policy, the state leadership finally capitulated to the virus and the highly contagious omicron variant.

Since then, China's state media have been relentlessly declaring that omicron is no more dangerous than a flu infection — despite months of relentless emphasis on the opposite.

List of rubrics: © Noel Celis/afp

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-01-27

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