As many as 40 per cent of the Chinese population was infected by COVID-19 over the past month amid the rising number of cases in the country, Asia Times reported, citing medical experts.
Chinese epidemiologist Zeng Guang said as most Chinese cities reported that 50 per cent of their people had tested positive, it was reasonable to estimate that about 40 per cent of the country’s population on average could have been infected, the Hong Kong-based English news outlet reported.
It is very difficult to calculate the death rate of the current pandemic, according to Liang Wannian, a Chinese epidemiologist and the former head of the Chinese National Health Commission’s Covid Response Expert Team. The Chinese epidemiologist said an accurate figure will be available only after this pandemic ends.
Zeng Guang, who is a former chief scientist and doctoral supervisor at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the speed of virus transmission in China was faster than expected.
According to an internal document of the Chinese CDC, 248 million people were infected by the coronavirus between December 1 and 20. As of now, the total number of Covid infections has reached 665 million globally while 6.69 million people have died, Asia Times reported.
On Wednesday, World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus once again asked China for reliable data on Covid hospitalizations and deaths in the country.
“We continue to ask China for more rapid, regular, reliable data on hospitalizations and deaths, as well as more comprehensive, real-time viral sequencing,” Tedros said at a media briefing in Geneva, according to the script of the media briefing posted on the WHO website.
The Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) met on January 3 to discuss the COVID-19 situation in mainland China.
During the meeting, scientists from the China CDC presented genomic data from what they described as imported as well as locally-acquired cases of SARS-CoV-2 infections.
In a statement, WHO said the China CDC analysis showed a predominance of Omicron lineages BA.5.2 and BF.7 among locally-acquired infections. “BA.5.2 and BF.7 together accounted for 97.5 per cent of all local infections as per genomic sequencing,” the statement added.
The UN health body continued saying that WHO will continue to monitor the situation in China and globally closely and urges all countries to continue to be vigilant, to monitor and report sequences, as well as to conduct independent and comparative analyses of the different Omicron sublineages.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)