Is there a possibility of a new COVID variant?
Recently, there have been talks about a new COVID variant in China. However, Data from China show that no new coronavirus variants have been discovered, but it also understates the number of deaths in the country’s quickly spreading outbreak.
Since Beijing abruptly altered its “zero COVID” policy, global concern has increased regarding the integrity of China’s reporting of an outbreak that has packed hospitals and overwhelmed several funeral homes.
A day after WHO officials met with Chinese scientists, the United Nations body released data from the Chinese Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). China has started reporting COVID deaths in single figures daily.
Mike Ryan, the WHO’s director of emergencies, told a press conference that current figures from China under-represented hospital admissions, ICU admissions, and “especially in terms of death.”
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that the UN agency would continue to seek timely and consistent data on hospitalizations and fatalities in China.
“The World Health Organization is worried about the risk to life in China and has emphasized the need for vaccination, including booster doses, to prevent hospitalization, serious sickness, and death,” he said.
The Communist Party’s official newspaper, China’s People’s Daily, sought to unite frightened citizens for what it called a “final victory” over COVID-19, rebutting criticism of its harsh isolation policy, which sparked unusual protests last year.
The virus has been released on China’s 1.4 billion people, who have little protection after being shielded since it arose in the Chinese city of Wuhan three years ago, thanks to Beijing’s surprise removal of those ultra-strict limits last month.
Health officials worldwide have been scrambling to determine the outbreak’s scope and how to stop it from spreading, with more countries implementing measures such as pre-departure COVID tests for Chinese visitors, which Beijing has criticized.
According to WHO data, China’s CDC investigation found a prevalence of Omicron lineages BA.5.2 and BF.7 among locally acquired illnesses.
According to recent genome sequencing, Omicron is the prevalent version, confirming previous findings while easing concerns about the emergence of a new variant for the time being.
However, many Chinese funeral homes and hospitals report overburdened, and international health experts predict at least 1 million COVID-related fatalities in China this year.