Chinese health expert claims 80 pc of people infected with COVID-19 in country: Report

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About 80 per cent of China’s population has been infected with COVID-19, that is nearly eight in 10 people, a prominent government scientist has claimed, CNN reported.

Wu Zunyou, the chief epidemiologist of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention has claimed that the present “wave of epidemic has already infected about 80% of the people” in the country of 1.4 billion population.

Wu Zunyou’s claim comes amid concerns that the travel rush that takes place around the Lunar New Year holiday time could spread the virus to the countryside and lead to the second wave of infections.

Speaking on his personal social media account, Wu claimed that the scenario was unlikely as many people in China have already been infected with COVID-19. Wu claimed that the possibility of a large scale COVID-19 rebound is very small in China.

“In the next two to three months, the possibility of a large-scale Covid-19 rebound or a second wave of infections across the country is very small,” CNN quoted Wu Zunyou as saying.

On Thursday, Chinese health authorities said that visits to clinics for fever and COVID-19 hospitalizations in China have reduced since their peaks in late December and early January respectively.

The authorities have said that the number of people infected with COVID-19 who need critical care in hospitals has also peaked. Nearly 60,000 people infected with COVID-19 died in Chinese hospitals between December 8 and January 12 after Beijing abruptly ended its “zero-Covid” policy, CNN reported citing government data.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization’s executive director for health emergencies Mike Ryan said that the numbers released by China “under-represent the true impact of the disease” with regards to hospital, ICU admissions and deaths.

Meanwhile, more than 26 million passenger trips were taken on the eve of the Lunar New Year, CNN reported citing Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported. Over 4.1 million people travelled by train and 756,000 people travelled by air for holiday reunions on the day prior to the start of the Lunar New Year, as per the news report.

China’s road transport system registered over 20 million passenger trips on the eve of the Lunar New Year, a rise of 55.1 per cent witnessed from 2022, CNN cited CCTV report. As of Friday, China’s transport system managed more than 560 million passenger trips in the first 15 days of the 40-day ongoing Spring Festival travel. (ANI)