(CTN NEWS) – BEIJING – On Sunday, the streets of major China’s cities were eerily quiet as residents stayed inside to guard against a spike of COVID-19 cases affecting urban centers throughout the country.
According to Wu Zunyou, the nation’s top epidemiologist, China is experiencing the first of three waves of COVID cases this winter.
If individuals follow usual travel patterns and use mass transit to return to their homes for the Lunar New Year vacation next month, cases might spread throughout the nation.
Since Dec. 7, when China immediately lifted most limitations essential to a zero-COVID tolerance policy in response to enormous public demonstrations against the protocol, no COVID deaths have been officially reported in China.
President Xi Jinping promoted this tactic.
Mass testing for the virus has stopped as part of the relaxation of the zero-COVID limitations, raising questions about the accuracy of the officially reported case numbers in describing the outbreak’s scope.
Around 2,097 new symptomatic COVID infections were recorded in China on December 17.
The highly contagious Omicron variety has already disrupted services in Beijing, ranging from catering to package deliveries. The 22 million-person city’s funeral houses and crematoriums are also struggling with demand.
Internet users lamented delivery delays while social media images depicted deserted subways in the northwest Chinese city of Xian.
The streets of Chengdu were desolate, but a local named Zhang reported that food delivery times were getting faster as services started to adjust to the recent spike in cases.
However, she noted that finding antigen test kits was still a challenge. She claimed, citing the supplier, that her most recent order had been changed to go to hospitals.
“3 WAVES, 3 MONTHS, 1 PEAK”
According to the Shanghai government, most classes should be taught online starting on Monday. Nearby Hangzhou schools were encouraged to wrap up the winter semester early.
According to the education administration, preschoolers and those already enrolled in online classes in Guangzhou should not get ready to return to school.
— Adam AI (@ai_adam_) December 18, 2022
According to a state media account of his remarks, head epidemiologist Wu of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention predicted that the current outbreak would peak this winter and last for around three months in three waves.
The first wave, which primarily affected cities, would last from mid-December until mid-January of the following year, with the second wave beginning in late January or early February as a result of individuals moving ahead of the seven-day New Year’s vacation.
Lunar New Year festivities in China will begin on January 21. Hundreds of millions of people typically return home to visit their families during the holiday.
As individuals return to work following the break, the third wave of illnesses will appear from late February to mid-March, according to Wu.
This week, a U.S.-based research organization warned that the number of cases in the nation might skyrocket and that over a million Chinese citizens could contract COVID by 2023.
Wu claimed that severe cases have decreased in China over the past few years and that vaccinations that had already been administered provided some protection.
While advising booster shots for the general public, he added people in the community who are at risk should be safeguarded.
According to state news agency Xinhua, nearly 87% of persons over 60 have had their full course of vaccinations, but only 66.4% of those over 80.
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