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Beijing expects Covid peak within a week

Beijing: China can witness a peak in COVID-19 cases within a week as the mainland reported less than 4000 new symptomatic local cases nationwide on Thursday and still downplayed the disease's severity and continue to report no new deaths, Bernard Orr and Casey Hall write in Australian Associated Press, News agency reported.
Amid the increase in Covid cases this month, China began dismantling its zero-Covid policy in the country. China's containment measures had slowed the economy to its lowest growth rate in nearly half a century, jamming global supply chains and trade. As Chinese workers increasingly fall ill, more disruption is expected in the short term before the economy bounces back later next year, according to Australian Associated Press.
In the daily briefing, the Chinese mainland reported 3,030 new cases of confirmed infections but reported no new deaths.
On Dec 21, 2,352 patients were released from the hospital after being cured. 56,880 people who had had close contact with infected patients were freed from medical observation. The number of serious cases increased by 45, according to China's National Health Commission.
Meanwhile, British-based health data firm Airfinity, on Wednesday, said that the infections in China are likely to be more than one million a day with deaths at more than 5000 a day.
New modelling by Airfinity has examined data from China's regional provinces. The current outbreak is growing more rapidly in some regions than in others. Cases are currently rising much more quickly in Beijing and Guangdong.
"Using the trends in regional data our team of epidemiologists has forecast the first peak to be in regions where cases are currently rising and a second peak driven by later surges in other Chinese provinces," Airfinity said in a statement.
The Airfinity model estimates case rates could reach 3.7 million a day in a January peak and 4.2 million a day in March 2023.
Airfinity's Head of Vaccines and Epidemiology Dr Louise Blair said, "China has stopped mass testing and is no longer reporting asymptomatic cases. The combination means the official data is unlikely to be a true reflection of the outbreak being experienced across the country.
"China has also changed the way it records COVID-19 deaths to only include those who die from respiratory failure or pneumonia after testing positive. This is different to other countries that record deaths within a time frame of a positive test or where COVID-19 is recorded to have attributed to the cause of death. This change could downplay the extent of deaths seen in China." (ANI)

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