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COVID-19 Resurgence in China: The Bad and Ugly

Health experts expect new Omicron strain to infect about 60 million people by the end of June. Reports have confirmed that a new strain of COVID has held China in its clutches, infecting and killing several citizens. However, as it did in 2019 when COVID first broke out in Wuhan, the Chinese Communist Party shirked responsibility for the resurgence. When asked about the virus outbreak in 2019, the Chinese government declared it “controllable” until the evidence got out of hand. It became a “public health emergency” of worldwide concern in just over a month, with tens of thousands of confirmed cases. From a public health emergency, it became the deadliest pandemic in almost a century, keeping the entire planet quiet in fear. The latest wave of reports coming out

Health experts expect new Omicron strain to infect about 60 million people by the end of June.

Reports have confirmed that a new strain of COVID has held China in its clutches, infecting and killing several citizens. However, as it did in 2019 when COVID first broke out in Wuhan, the Chinese Communist Party shirked responsibility for the resurgence.

When asked about the virus outbreak in 2019, the Chinese government declared it “controllable” until the evidence got out of hand. It became a “public health emergency” of worldwide concern in just over a month, with tens of thousands of confirmed cases. From a public health emergency, it became the deadliest pandemic in almost a century, keeping the entire planet quiet in fear.

The latest wave of reports coming out of China has shown the Chinese government again living in denial, even with reality staring it in the face. China’s third-term-obsessed president, Xi Jinping, seems to have exaggerated his administration’s success in containing the virus in a bid to prove the superiority of China’s top-down governance model as compared to liberal democracies and proved to be a case of shooting oneself in the foot. Zhu Weiping, an official in Shanghai’s disease control apparatus, said she had advised the government to let people with no or mild symptoms quarantine at home and focus on vaccination drives. According to her, no one listened.

“This disease has been politicized,” She stated.

When the Omicron variant broke out in early April 2021, about 373 million people in 45 Chinese cities were under full or partial lockdowns. Economists at the investment bank Nomura estimated that these cities accounted for 26 percent of China’s population and 40 percent of its economic output. They warned that the risk of recession was rising as local governments competed to ratchet up virus-containment measures. Beijing is now urging local governments to balance pandemic control and economic production. However, everyone in the bureaucratic system knows where the priority lies.
The tyrannical zero-COVID policy imposed on the citizens is another subject of concern. Viral videos and leaked footage have exposed frightening across Shanghai as the city erupts in protest over the extreme lockdown imposed by the government. The city has suffered the worst fate since the resurgence.

Shanghai has recorded over 200,000 COVID cases since the beginning of March, with the city grappling with China’s biggest outbreak since the start of the pandemic. With 25 million residents, Shanghai now finds itself at the center of China’s “dynamic zero-COVID strategy” and an indefinite citywide lockdown.

Over the past weeks, images emerging from Shanghai paint a grim picture of the harsh reality of China’s zero-COVID policy. For the residents of Shanghai, living with zero-COVID has meant being confined to homes, mass testing, and being hauled away into quarantine when one tests positive. Beyond these measures is a more severe picture of the impact of harsh public health measures emerging as food shortages abound in Shanghai’s neighborhoods. Children are separated from their families, and pets are ruthlessly killed for food.

In another video circulating on social media, people were heard chanting for food rations in Shanghai’s Kangting neighborhood. The same video also shows a fight breaking out at the entrance of a neighborhood as police vehicles arrive at the scene.

The outbreak of another virus in China has alarmed the world. Health experts warn that another pandemic is in sight unless proper precautions are taken. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) ditched its zero-COVID policy on December 7, 2022, and positive cases exploded across China. Despite the CCP’s cover-up of the facts and censorship, the crowded hospitals and crematories explained everything. In Shanghai, the largest city in China, for example, the crematories were so overburdened that the wait time for cremation was up to one month.

Instead of celebrating the Chinese 2023 Chinese New Year (January 22) as usual, many families were mourning the deaths of their loved ones. In the meantime, people are wondering how to stay healthy and safe. The CCP’s three-year zero-COVID policy has done little to stay the deathly hands of the virus.

The new omicron variant XBB is expected to result in 40 million infections per week by the end of May before peaking at 65 million by the end of June. This comes nearly six months after Beijing dismantled its Covid Zero curbs, allowing the virus to spread rapidly among its 1.4 billion residents. ( Source: cnbctv18.com)

Respiratory disease specialist Zhong Nanshan made the shocking announcement at a biotech conference in Guangzhou. Zhong’s estimate provides a rare glimpse into the potential impact of the latest omicron variant, XBB, which has been fuelling a resurgence in cases across China since late April. Zhong’s estimate suggests that this latest wave of infections will be more massive than the previous wave that hit China late last year and into January.

In response to this new threat, China is rushing to bolster its vaccine arsenal with new immunizations targeting XBB. The country’s drug regulator has already given preliminary approval to two such vaccines, with another three or four expected to be cleared soon. “We can lead the pack internationally in developing more effective vaccines,” Zhong said.

A World Health Organization (WHO) advisory group recently recommended updating this year’s COVID-19 booster shots to target one of the currently dominant XBB variants.

As China prepares for this new wave of infections, it remains to be seen how effective these new vaccines will be in curbing the spread of XBB. With millions of cases expected each week, it is clear that the fight against Covid-19 is far from over.


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