A hospital in Shanghai has told its staff to prepare for a “tragic battle” with Covid-19, predicting that half of China’s largest city’s 25 million people will be infected by the end of the year, as the virus spreads. Widely across the country.
After Widespread protests And a relentless rise in cases, China this month made an abrupt change in approach and began scrapping its “Covid Zero” policy. Economic impact and psychology among its 1.4 billion people.
However, China’s official death toll since the outbreak began three years ago is 5,241 – a fraction of what other countries have faced. China officially recorded no new deaths from Covid-19 for the second day in a row on Wednesday, even as funeral workers reported an increase in demand last week.
Chinese authorities have tightened criteria for reporting deaths from Covid-19, drawing criticism from many disease experts, and have confirmed 389,306 cases with symptoms. Some experts also say official numbers are unreliable because fewer tests are being done after restrictions are eased.
Shanghai Deji Hospital, in a post on its official WeChat account, estimated the number of positives in the city on Wednesday at around 5.43 million and predicted 12.5 million would be infected by the end of the year. “Christmas Eve, New Year’s Day and this year Lunar New Year should be unprotected,” the hospital said. “In this tragic war, all of Greater Shanghai will fall, and we will infect all the hospital staff! We will infect the whole family! All our patients will be infected! We have no choice, we cannot escape.
The post on WeChat will not be available on Thursday. An employee who answered the hospital’s main line told Reuters he could not comment for the article. Shanghai residents faced a two-month lockdown, which ended on June 1, with many residents losing income and having little access to basic necessities. Hundreds died and hundreds of thousands were injured in those two months.
Much of Shanghai was as deserted as it was on Thursday, with many residents voluntarily self-quarantining and businesses forced to close as employees fell ill. “All our people are sick,” said a supermarket worker nicknamed Wang as he closed the doors. He “anticipated” a December 30 reopening.
Given the relatively low rates, experts say China could face more than a million deaths from Covid-19 next year. Vaccination Among its most vulnerable elderly population. Vaccination rates in China are above 90%, but fall to 57.9% among adults who receive booster shots and 42.3% among those 80 and older, according to government data.
State television CCTV footage showed elderly patients in the intensive care unit breathing with the help of oxygen masks at a hospital in Beijing. It is not clear how many people actually had Covid-19. The deputy director of the hospital’s emergency department, Han Xu, told CCTV that it receives 400 people a day, four times more than usual. “These patients are all elderly people with underlying diseases, fever and respiratory infections, and they are in very poor condition,” Hahn said.
The Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) has already expressed concern over this Increased infection And Beijing supports the government to focus on vaccinating those at risk. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the WHO needed detailed information on the severity of the disease, the number of hospitalizations and intensive care units to make a comprehensive assessment of the situation.
Hospitals under pressure
Policy reversal “Covid Zero” China has a weak, ill-prepared health system, hospitals are scrambling for beds and blood transfusions, and officials are rushing to build drug pharmacies and specialized clinics.
Small towns from the prosperous east and south coasts are particularly vulnerable. Dongchuan, a city of 700,000 people in the northwestern province of Shaanxi, is calling on all doctors and nurses who have retired in the past five years to join the fight against Covid-19. “Medical institutions at all levels in the city are under great pressure,” local officials said in a statement.
State media say local governments are scrambling to deal with drug shortages and drug companies are working overtime to boost supplies. Cities across the country are distributing millions of ibuprofen tablets for free to medical facilities and pharmacies, the state newspaper reported. Global Times.
Meanwhile, Germany has reported that it has sent its first batch of BioNTech vaccines to China, initially for distribution to German expatriates. Berlin is pushing to include other foreigners in the vaccination process. The first mRNA vaccines considered highly effective against the disease are available in China, where nine locally developed vaccines have been approved for use.
Some Chinese experts predict that the Covid-19 wave will peak in late January and life will return to normal in late February or early March.