Covid Outbreak In China: Are We Taking Covid Too Lightly

Covid Outbreak In China: Are We Taking Covid Too Lightly?


The world’s most populated country is now facing an explosion of Covid cases and related deaths. Omicron BF.7, the dominant variant of Covid in China is shocking the entire world. After a strict lockdown of the Zero-Covid policy, the country opened up with a spike in the number of infections. China has been following the Zero-COVID policy for the last few months but after the public protests, the country began to dismantle this gruesome policy. And as soon as the country started unlocking its economy, the country with the second-largest economy in the world was hit by a surge in Covid infections. 

The sudden rise in Covid cases in China has become a cause of concern for the entire world. Reports suggest China is likely recording around 1 million cases daily along with 5,000 deaths due to infection.

According to the reports of British scientific information and analytics company Airfinity, it is expected that the situation in the country may get even worse and the country’s case tally may rise to 3.7 million in January 2023. The company also suggests that China may experience another surge in March 2023 with a daily peak of 4.2 million cases. 

Is China Underreporting its Cases? 

Covid BF.7 variant in China

China official numbers stated that no new death is recorded for the last two consecutive days (20th & 21st December) but the workers at the death parlours and morgues suggest otherwise. Workers at these places admit that demand has increased significantly in the past few weeks. Hence, it is possible that China is underreporting the cases. 

Many advisors at WHO believe that it is too early to declare the end of Covid-19 keeping in mind the potentially catastrophic wave to come in China. In addition to this, Eric Feigl-Ding who is an Epidemiologist & health economist called China’s situation “Thermonuclear Bad”.  He also predicted that the doubling rate of cases in China is in hours instead of days. He also mentioned that over 60 per cent of China and 10 per cent of the world’s population will likely get infected with the Coronavirus in the next 90 days. 

The Head of WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus raised concerns about the evolving situation of Covid in the country. He instructed China to ramp up its vaccination game. Dr Tedros mentioned, “WHO is very concerned over the evolving situation in China, with increasing reports of severe disease.”    

Right now, the situation is turning from bad to worse with a rapid doubling of cases, putting pressure on hospitals and also overburdening crematoriums. A worker at Dongjiao Crematory told Wall Street Journal that the place is receiving bodies 24 hours a day and they are conducting the cremation process from early morning to midnight. 

Why Zero-COVID fail to Control The Situation?

Before the sudden burst of Covid Cases, China was practising the toughest anti-covid policy, the Zero-Covid policy. It is considered the strictest and even inhumane by many people. The authorities imposed a strict lockdown even if a handful of people’s cases were detected. And the people who were detected with Covid were under strict isolation either at home or in government facilities. 

The extreme isolation conditions led to a large public protest because people were not allowed to go outside even to buy essential items and groceries. This policy created anger and fear against the government. After a huge protest, the government started to dismantle its policy. 

Experts believe that China is witnessing a surge in cases because due to the Zero-Covid policy, the population of China did not develop herd immunity (It occurs when a significant portion of the population becomes immune to a contagious infection, limiting the further spread of the disease). Also, the lockdown restricted its citizens to get vaccinated. Hence, the Chinese population is getting more prone to coronavirus infection.

How Prepared Is India?

Covid-BF.7-variant in India

As the cases have started detecting in India as well, the Government is advising people to get vaccinated and mask up. The All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi has issued fresh guidelines and has urged its staff members to follow Covid appropriate behaviour.

The Senior Epidemiologist at AIIMS Delhi, Dr Sanjay Rai spoke to ANI and said, “In India, we have sufficient evidence to prove that those who recovered from Covid are best protected. It’s important to monitor all variants. But it’s unlikely that we’ll face any serious problem due to the virus in the current scenario.”

In Bihar, random Covid tests will be conducted at airports, bus stands, and railway stations. The suspected cases will be immediately sent to the hospitals for RT-PCR tests and genome sequencing. In Gujarat, Health Minister Rishikesh Patel has instructed authorities to increase the testing of foreign arrivals at international airports. The Maharashtra government is planning to set up a Task Force to monitor the Covid situation, as said by Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Amid a huge surge in Covid cases in China, government sources told ANI that no decision has been taken to shut flight operations “to and from China”.

Must Read:


Leave a Reply