By Peter McLaren-Kennedy •
Published: 23 Dec 2022 • 15:49
China COVID-19 centre - Image Abdul Razak Latif / Shutterstock.com
A number of experts warned on Friday, December 23 that China is failing to deal with the virus and that the number of people infected is growing rapidly, as is the number hospitalised.
Mortuaries are also said to be battling to cope with the volume of the dead, which some believe could rise to as much as one million if the government does not change tack.
Poor vaccines and poor vaccination rates, as well as a lack of immunity through previous infections, is said to be behind the crisis.
Doctors in China, where the virus originated back in 2019, are said to be struggling say they are in the midst of a COVID-19 tsunami. That view is supported by the World Health Organisation which says that the pandemic is far from over in China.
Officially numbers are down but that is due to a drop off in testing rather than infections, with Professor David Livermore, a microbiologist at the University of East Anglia, telling Mailonline: “China is in for a few grim weeks as zero COVID-19 is unravelled.
“There will be a major surge of infections. Given China’s vast population and the low rates of vaccination among the vulnerable elderly there will be large numbers of deaths.
“Those who were vaccinated received killed whole-virus vaccines, not western mRNA products.
“Hong Kong’s experience, back in the spring, was that these killed-virus preparations were less effective in reducing mortality.”
With Chinese vaccines less effective and vaccination rates low, the government opted for its zero COVID-19 policy that saw mass quarantines. But that policy has been dropped after country-wide protests allowing the virus to spread more freely.
Experts say that dropping the policy was in itself not the problem, but doing so long after vaccinations ended and with a low take-up of boosters was very much behind the quick rise in numbers.
With the rest of the world open, the fresh outbreak in China could result in the virus mutating and spreading worldwide once again. Dr Simon Clarke, a Microbiologist at the University of Reading, told MailOnline: “It’s right to say that the pandemic isn’t over, the developed world has just moved into a different phase.
“The threat of new variants will always be with us and the lack of immunity conferred by vaccination in some parts of the world just makes that more likely, and I think it’s doubtful that it would ever completely eliminate that risk.
“We’ve seen previously how easily variants are flown around the world and I think it’s unlikely that there is the political will to stop it from happening again.”
China’s COVID-19 crisis is a worry for the world. Low immunity and low take-up of boosters mean the virus is able to spread and mutate more easily, and that is a concern for medical professionals worldwide.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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