Study warns China of 'colossal outbreak' of COVID-19

Beijing: China is expected to continue its much-criticised Zero COVID policy, shutting the country to most of the world as a new study has warned of a "colossal outbreak" with over 6.30 lakh patients per day if it opens up.

According to a report by the Peking University mathematicians, China could face more than 630,000 Coronavirus infections a day if it dropped its zero-tolerance approach and followed other countries by lifting travel bans.

"The estimates revealed the real possibility of a colossal outbreak which would almost certainly put an unbearable burden on the medical system," the report said.

China on Saturday reported 23 new COVID-19 cases, including 20 imported ones as the country appears to have contained a recent spike of infections in Beijing and other cities.

China, where the Coronavirus first surfaced in Wuhan in late 2019 before it turned into a pandemic, has so far reported 98,631 cases and 4,636 deaths, the National Health Commission said on Sunday.

This included 785 patients still receiving treatment.

On Saturday, Chinese top respiratory expert Zhong Nanshan warned that the new and more contagious Coronavirus variant Omicron, reported in South Africa causing global alarm, may cause more challenges to the work of preventing and controlling the pandemic as the World Health Organization (WHO) said it carries a large number of mutations.

He said that about 76.8 per cent of China's population have been vaccinated, laying a good basis for the country to reach the target of 80 per cent vaccination to build herd immunity by year end. One of China's major vaccine producers, Sinovac Biotech, told state-run Global Times that the company is paying close attention to Omicron and has tapped into a global partner network to collect and obtain information and samples specific to the mutant virus.

Next Story
Share it