A top Chinese health official says he believes China is experiencing the first of three expected waves of Covid infections this winter season.
The country is seeing a surge in cases since the lifting of its most severe restrictions earlier this month.
The latest official figures appear to show a relatively low number of new daily cases.
However, there are concerns that these numbers are an underestimate due to a recent reduction in Covid testing.
The government reported only 2, 097 new daily cases on Sunday.
Epidemiologist Wu Zunyou has said he feels the current spike in infections would run until mid-January, while the second wave might then be triggered by mass travel in January around the week-long Lunar New Year celebrations which begin upon 21 The month of january. Millions of people usually travel at this time to spend the particular holiday with family.
The third surge in the event would run from late February to mid-March as people return to work after the holiday, Dr Wu said.
He told a conference on Saturday that present vaccinations levels offered a certain level associated with protection against the surges and had resulted in a drop inside the quantity of severe cases.
Overall, China says more than 90% of its population has been fully vaccinated . However, less than half associated with people aged 80 and over have received three doses of vaccine. Elderly people are more likely to suffer severe Covid symptoms.
China has developed plus produced the own vaccines, which have been shown to be less effective at protecting people against serious Covid illness and death than the mRNA vaccines used in much of the rest of the world.
Dr Wu’s comments come after the reputable US-based research institute reported earlier this week that it believed China could see over a million individuals die from Covid in 2023 following an explosion of cases.
The federal government hasn’t officially reported any Covid deaths since 7 December, when restrictions were lifted subsequent mass protests against its zero-Covid policy. That included an end to mass testing.
However , there are anecdotal reports of deaths linked to Covid appearing in Beijing.
Hospitals there and in other cities are struggling to cope with a surge , which has also hit postal and catering services hard.
Meanwhile, China’s largest city, Shanghai, has ordered most of the schools in order to take classes online as cases soar.