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China’s Covid Surge: A looming peak of 65 million weekly cases

June 6, 2023 | By Kali Girl

China is preparing for a surge of new Covid cases, with an estimated 65 million cases per week expected by the end of June, reports NBC News. This prediction is alarming considering that the pandemic originated in China in late 2019.

Despite implementing some of the strictest Covid control measures just months ago, the country’s government and public response to the latest omicron variant, XBB, remains subdued.

This surge comes six months after China dismantled its extensive infrastructure for managing the virus, which included imposing strict lockdowns, conducting mass testing, implementing stringent quarantines, and enforcing mask mandates.

Qi Zhang,  who works at a finance company in the northern city of Tianjin said, “People feel differently about this wave.” “The last time, everyone was terrified, but now they don’t think it’s a big deal.”

Respiratory disease specialist Zhong Nanshan unveiled the latest data on the new wave during a medical conference in Guangzhou. According to state media reports, he stated that the wave, which began in late April, was expected, and his projections indicated that China may soon see around 40 million weekly infections.

He further predicted that by the end of June, the peak of weekly infections would reach 65 million.

The US State Department is in talks with allies and partners about China’s second Covid wave. Travel restrictions are being discussed, although the department has not confirmed their consideration. 

Spokesperson Matt Miller mentioned that the situation is being monitored by the department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and travel guidelines will be updated accordingly. “We don’t want to see people anywhere, obviously, suffering from Covid-19,” Miller said Wednesday. The U.S. government remains committed to working with China “on transnational challenges, including on global health matters and maintaining open lines of communication,” he added.

While the CDC’s consistent tracking of new COVID-19 cases remains limited, it is crucial to note that the decline in hospitalizations and deaths continues in the United States. The prevailing belief among experts is that the nation has built a strong immunity against the highly transmissible strain of the virus.

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