A study by Peking University estimates that 900 plus Million Chinese have been infected with Coronavirus as of 17 January.
According to the report, 65% of the country’s population is infected.
The report ranks Gansu province at the top, with 91% of its population infected, followed by Yunnan (84%) and Qinghai (80%).
As the lunar new year approaches, a top Chinese epidemiologist predicts a surge in cases in rural China.
Zeng Guang, the former head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control, predicted the peak of China’s Covid wave would last two to three months.
Before the lunar new year on 23 January, hundreds of millions of Chinese will travel to their hometowns for the first time since the pandemic began.
In the wake of abandoning zero-Covid, China has stopped providing daily Covid statistics.
As the virus spreads across the country, hospitals in big cities – where healthcare facilities are better and more accessible – have become crowded with Covid patients.
The Caixin news outlet reported earlier this month that Zeng said speaking at an event earlier this month, that, it was about time to focus on the rural areas.
Covid treatment was already being left behind by many elderly, sick, and disabled in the countryside, he said.
In China’s central Henan province, a health official earlier this month reported that 90% of the population had Covid, with similar rates found in urban and rural areas.
According to government officials, many provinces and cities have passed the peak of infections.
Lunar New Year celebrations in China, which start on 21 January, are the world’s largest annual migration.
Millions of people have already traveled home, and two billion trips are expected.
• Chinese hope lunar new year consigns Covid to past
• Young Chinese self-infect amid Covid fears for elderly
China reopened its borders on Sunday after abandoning its zero Covid policy last month.
According to official data, there have been five or fewer deaths a day over the past month, which is inconsistent with long lines at funeral homes and social media posts about deaths.
In December, Chinese officials announced that they would issue monthly updates on the Covid situation rather than daily updates.
According to the WHO, China, which stopped reporting Covid deaths on Tuesday, significantly underreports the number of deaths related to Covid.
Wang Wenbin, Foreign Ministry spokesman, reiterated at a regular press briefing on Thursday that Beijing had been sharing Covid data in a timely, open and transparent manner in accordance with the law, having held technical exchanges with the WHO for the past month.
The World Health Organization has predicted at least a million deaths from Covid in China this year. Beijing has officially reported just over 5,000 deaths since the pandemic began which is very low compared to the rest of the world.
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