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China Covid Cases: China races to install hospital beds as Covid cases surge sparks concern abroad | World News


BEIJING/WASHINGTON: Cities across China race to install hospital beds and building fever screening clinics on Tuesday as the US says BeijingHis sudden decision to let the virus run free is the concern of the world.
China this month suddenly began to dismantle “no-CovidThe mass lockdown following protests against the containment measures largely contained the virus for three years but caused significant damage to society and the world’s second-largest economy.
Now, as the virus sweeps across a nation of 1.4 billion people who lack natural immunity that has been protected for so long, there are growing concerns about the potential for mortality, virus mutations and back impact on the economy.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price said: “We know that whenever a virus spreads, which is in the wild, it has the potential to mutate and pose a threat to everyone in the country. everywhere”. virus outbreak is also a concern for the Chinese economy and global growth.
Beijing reported five Covid-related deaths on Tuesday, following two on Monday, the first deaths reported in weeks.
In total, China reported only 5,242 Covid number of deaths since the pandemic broke out in downtown Wuhan in late 2019, an extremely low number by global standards.
But there is growing doubt that your statistics are capturing the full impact of a disease raging across cities after China lifted restrictions covering most testing. mandatory on December 7.
Since then, some hospitals have become overcrowded, pharmacies have run out of medicine and the streets are eerily quiet as people stay home, either sick or wary.
Some health experts estimate that 60% of the people of China – or 10% of the world’s population – could be infected in the coming months and more than 2 million people could die.
In the capital Beijing, security guards patrol the entrance of a designated Covid-19 crematorium, where Reuters journalists on Saturday saw a long line of hearses and workers in protective suits. House carrying the dead inside. Reuters could not immediately determine whether the deaths were due to Covid.
health care strains
Top health officials have softened their tone on the threat posed by the disease in recent weeks, a turnaround from the previous message that the virus must be eradicated to save lives even if part The rest of the world is open.
They also downplayed the possibility that currently prevailed omicron strains can evolve to become more virulent.
Zhang Wenhong, a prominent infectious disease expert, said at a forum on Sunday in comments reported by state media: “The probability of a sudden large spike… is very low.
But there are growing signs that the virus is hitting China’s fragile health system.
Cities are stepping up efforts to expand intensive care units and other treatment facilities for severe Covid cases, the Global Times reported on Monday.
Authorities have also raced to build so-called fever clinics, facilities where medical staff check patients’ symptoms and administer medications. Often attached to hospitals, these clinics are common in mainland China and are designed to prevent the wider spread of infectious disease in healthcare settings.
Over the past week, major cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Wenzhou have announced they have added hundreds of fever clinics, according to government WeChat accounts and media reports.
A gymnasium in Beijing’s Shijingshan district was converted into a fever clinic last weekend with cubicles that hold more than 150 people. bed covered a basketball court, witnessed by Reuters.
The spread of the virus is expected to weaken China’s economy, which is expected to grow 3% this year, its worst performance in nearly half a century.
A survey by World Economics on Monday showed that China’s business confidence fell in December to its lowest level since January 2013.
China left its benchmark lending rate unchanged for a fourth straight month on Tuesday.

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