China is fighting new wave of COVID-19, may see 65 million weekly cases: Reports
Beijing: Chinese authorities are now trying to push out vaccines to fight the ongoing rise in COVID-19 which might reach its peak in June.
According to reports, 65 million people are expected to be infected in a week when the peak will be reached.
China is witnessing the spike once again, months after it exited from the Zero COVID policy.
Zhong Nanshan, a top Chinese epidemiologist,was quoted as saying by The Washington Post that two new vaccines for the XBB omicron subvariants (including XBB. 1.9.1, XBB. 1.5, and XBB. 1.16) had received initial approval.
Zhong, speaking at biotech forum in Guangzhou, said three to four other vaccines were set to be approved soon, but he did not provide more details.
While officials in China say the new wave will be less severe, public health experts say that an aggressive vaccine booster program and a ready supply of antivirals at hospitals are needed to prevent another spike in deaths among the country’s large elderly population.
“The number of infections will be less. The severe cases will be certainly be less, and deaths will be less, but that could still be a large number,” Ben Cowling, an epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong’s School of Public Health, told the newspaper. “Even when we think this is a milder wave, it could still be quite a substantial health impact on the community.”