The Covid lashing is not over yet. China, from where Covid-19 first emerged, is vigorously trying to vaccinate as many citizens as possible even as it braces for a fresh Covid surge next month. China expects around 65 million fresh cases.
Since the new XBB variants of the virus are evolving to overcome the immunity developed after China’s abrupt departure from its “zero covid” policy last year, the Chinese government is eager to push out vaccines to combat an ongoing new wave of the coronavirus that is expected to peak in June and infect as many as 65 million people a week.
The two new vaccinations for the XBB omicron sub-variants (including XBB. 1.9.1, XBB. 1.5, and XBB. 1.16) have received preliminary approval, according to renowned Chinese epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan on Monday.
Zhong stated at a biotech seminar in Guangzhou that three to four other vaccines will soon be approved, but he provided no further details.
Since China’s strict zero-Covid strategy was abandoned last winter, when up to 85% of the population was unwell, the latest outbreak may be the worst wave of diseases ever documented.
The public health emergency was declared to be over on May 11 despite the fact that there was an increase in infections in the United States as a result of the new variations, although experts have not ruled out the possibility of these new variants causing another wave of illnesses in the years to come.
Officials in China predict that the latest wave will be less severe, but public health experts think that a robust vaccination booster program and a ready supply of antivirals in hospitals are crucial to prevent another increase in death among the large senior population of the country.
There will be fewer illnesses, according to a different epidemiologist at the School of Public Health at the University of Hong Kong. “Even when we think this is a milder wave, it could still have quite a substantial health impact on the community,” the researcher continued. “The severe cases will certainly be less, and deaths will be less, but that could still be a large number.”
Health professionals have reassured the public that reinfections have milder symptoms and that hospitals won’t be overcrowded as they were the previous winter. If a patient is old or immunocompromised, medical facilities may advise them to wear masks and avoid crowded situations.
The majority of the populace appears to be going about their daily lives as usual, despite the fact that restrictions akin to those that were in place during the zero-Covid era, when China strove to stop any sicknesses, have not yet been reinstated.
The impact, according to Olivia Zhang, 33, a worker at a Beijing amusement park, has not been as significant. However, she said, “But they will only be out of work for a short while before returning to work. Nobody avoids them because they frighten them.
A university in Nanjing is accused of forcing students who test positive to stay in quarantine in the dorms in a number of internet complaints. Other kids revealed online that they had placed themselves in self-quarantine while at school to avoid infecting their home families.
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