WHO: China Reports 70% Increase in COVID-19 Hospitalizations

HEALTHCARE

In the week leading up to January 15, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in China increased significantly, reaching their highest level since the beginning of the pandemic. According to a weekly report that was released on January 19 by the World Health Organization (WHO), there were 63,307 more people hospitalized in China for the illness than there was the week before.

This is China’s highest weekly statistic since COVID-19 first appeared more than three years ago. In addition, the WHO stated that it did not include the nearly 60,000 additional COVID-related hospital deaths that China reported the previous week because it was awaiting precise provincial statistics broken down by reporting week.

In the early days of December, Beijing abruptly ended its strict three-year anti-virus system of frequent testing, travel restrictions, and widespread lockdowns following significant protests at the end of November. Since then, the nation of 1.4 billion people has seen an increase in cases.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has repeatedly requested more comprehensive statistics, including information on deaths, excess mortality, and genetic sequences, and China has been under-reporting the outbreak’s scope.

Mike Ryan, WHO emergency director, says that official statistics don’t always reflect the true number of COVID-19 cases in China. Hospitals rushed to get beds and blood without warning, pharmacies rushed to get medicines, and officials rushed to set up special clinics. The lockdown against zero COVID-19 was abruptly lifted. Experts predict that more than a million COVID-19 deaths could occur in China in 2023.

In China, COVID-19 vaccination rates have significantly increased. The question of whether enough vaccinations could be given in the weeks to come to avoid the effects of an Omicron wave remained unanswered.