China is likely to experience 1 million Covid infections and 5,000 virus deaths every day as it grapples with what is expected to be the largest outbreak the world has ever seen, according to a new analysis.
The situation could get even worse for the country of 1.4 billion people. This current wave may see the rate of daily cases rise to 3.7 million in January, according to Airfinity Ltd., a London-based research firm that focuses on predictive health analytics and has been tracking the pandemic since it emerged. for the first time. Another wave of infections is likely to follow, bringing the daily peak to 4.2 million in March, the group estimated.
Its modeling of the scale and toll of china outbreakwhich uses provincial data, shows that the impact of the country’s abrupt turn away from Covid Zero far outweighs the government’s tally.
Officially, China reported 2,966 new cases for Wednesday and there have been fewer than 10 deaths from covid since early December. But that contrasts with a growing chorus of reports that hospitals are overwhelmed with patients and crematoria are being pushed beyond capacity.
Changes in the way the government reports virus figures are also a factor. China has largely shut down its vast network of mass testing booths and scrapped efforts to include every infection in the daily tally, leaving residents reliant on rapid tests without the obligation to report results. The country’s health regulator has also quietly adopted a narrower definition of what counts as a Covid death, and much more selective than that used by many Western nations, making it difficult to measure the true numbers of the current spate of infections.
These changes mean that “official data is unlikely to be an accurate reflection of the outbreak being experienced across the country,” Louise Blair, Airfinity’s director of vaccines and epidemiology, said in a statement. “This change could downplay the magnitude of deaths seen in China.”
Accurately capturing the Covid situation remains difficult around the world, as a focus on living with the virus means fewer countries are testing frequently. The emergence of the highly transmissible omicron variant led to a surge in infections, including in the US, which posted its highest daily case count to date with nearly 1.4 million infections in January 2022. That coincided with the global number exceeding 4 million, according to Our World. in data
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