(CTN NEWS) – SHANGHAI – In light of worsening COVID-19 infection levels, Shanghai’s education bureau has ordered most grades to hold classes online from Monday.
According to an online statement, the bureau also asked kindergartens and childcare centers to close all in-person classes on Monday.
As a result of unprecedented protests, China lifted some of the world’s toughest COVID-19 restrictions in December.
And is now experiencing a spike in infections, with fears that the disease could spread across its 1.4 billion population during Lunar New Year.
A lockdown imposed in 11 districts across 24 high-risk areas in Shanghai ended in December.
China’s abrupt lifting of stringent COVID-19 restrictions could result in a surge of cases and more than 1 million deaths by 2023, according to projections by the US-based Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).
It is estimated that 322,000 deaths will occur in China by April 1, according to the group’s projections.
According to IHME director Christopher Murray, about a third of China’s population will have been infected by then.
According to the group's projections, cases in China would peak around April 1, when deaths would reach 322,000. About a third of China's population will have been infected by then, IHME Director Christopher Murray said. https://t.co/AZCZJqphAO
— ponta_fujii (@FujiiPonta) December 17, 2022
China’s national health authority has not reported any official COVID-19 deaths since restrictions were lifted. On December 3, the last official death was reported.
A total of 5,235 people have died as a result of the pandemic.
It is impossible to sustain a policy of zero COVID
Despite China’s zero-COVID policy’s success in keeping earlier variants of the virus at bay, the high transmissibility of Omicron variants made it impossible to sustain.
According to a World Health Organization director, 19 infections exploded in China well before the government abruptly reversed its strict policy.
Mike Ryan, WHO’s director ofsaid the world’s second-largest economy needs to ramp up vaccinations.
The virus was spreading “intensively” in the nation longwere lifted, he said at a media briefing.
Chinese officials have not reported any Covid-related deaths nationwide since December 4. But staff at two Beijing crematoria said that overall deaths were much higher than normal as the capital is engulfed by its first significant coronavirus outbreak.
— Yanzhong Huang (@YanzhongHuang) December 16, 2022
“Suddenly, the disease is out of control after China lifted its restrictions,” he said.
“I believe control measures alonethe disease. China decided strategically that this was no longer the course of action.”
In a worrying sign that a wave of infections is building, long queues have formed outside fever clinics since restrictions were official counts of cases have fallen recently.
China has reported an increase in hospitalizations for four consecutive weeks, according COVID-19 report for the week ending November 27.
“China and other countries still face the challenge of vaccinating their people adequately, with the right vaccines in the right number of doses, and when were their last vaccines given,” said Mr. Ryan.
According to Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for international affairs at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Despite encouraging people to get boosted with a list ofChinese-made shots, Chinese officials are still reluctant to use foreign vaccines.
The National Health Commission of China announced on Friday that it was ramping up vaccinations and building up stocks of essential drugs and ventilators.
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