Nearly 90% of people in China’s third most populous province have now been infected with Covid-19, a top official said on Monday, as the country faces an unprecedented rise in cases. .
Kan Quancheng, director of the health commission of the central province of Henan, said at a press conference that “as of January 6, 2023, the province’s Covid infection rate is 89.0%.
With a population of 99.4 million, figures suggest that around 88.5 million people in Henan may now have been infected.
The number of visits to fever clinics peaked on December 19, Kan said, “after that it tended to decrease continuously”.
China is grappling with a surge in infections following its decision last month to lift years of lockdowns, quarantines and mass testing that have hampered the country’s economy and sparked protests. nationally rare.
And Beijing is determined to continue reopening, on Sunday, lifting the mandatory quarantine for all international arrivals and opening its borders with the semi-autonomous southern city of Hong Kong.
However, infections are expected to soar as the country celebrates the Lunar New Year later this month, with millions expected to return from major cities to visit vulnerable elderly relatives. trade in the countryside.
In the first wave of pre-holiday travel, official data showed 34.7 million people traveled domestically on Saturday – up more than a third from last year, according to state media.
Official data showed last week only 120,000 people have been infected and 30 have died since China eased Covid curbs in early December.
But with Beijing last month narrowing its definition of Covid deaths and mass testing no longer required, its data no longer reflects the true scale of the outbreak.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from the aggregate feed.)
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