ChinaCoronavirus (Covid-19)

China releases first Covid fatality rates after loosening restrictions

China is reporting its first fatality rates after the recent loosening of Covid restrictions. According to CNBC, three people died over the weekend after contracting Covid-19 marking the first fatalities since the last report in May. All three were aged 87 to 91 and lived in Beijing. Last Sunday alone, Beijing reported more than 26,000 infections, both symptomatic and asymptomatic.

Recently, China loosened restrictions by doing an erupt turnaround from its Zero Covid-19 policy, which is thought to be one of the strictest policies regarding the virus worldwide. But, Beijing tightened the reigns yet again as the country headed into the long weekend as local cases rose to several hundred per day. Restaurants in Beijing switched to offering take-out or delivery only while many supermarkets, gyms and malls temporarily closed.

Schools in Beijing have moved to online classes while various apartment complexes have been locked down, banning residents from leaving. Mainland China’s latest report of infections has hit all 31 of its province-level regions. The southern province of Guangdong was especially hit this month as Sunday alone saw almost 1,000 infections with symptoms. Another 8,000 infections were reported as being asymptomatic.

More than 90% of China’s 1.4 billion population have been reported vaccinated as of November 11, but the Chinese-made vaccines have received criticism over their efficacy rates. The rate of seniors being vaccinated is also under scrutiny as only 65.7% of those older than 80 years old have been vaccinated. The rates compared to the US are quite low, with 90% of those over 75 years old in the US having been vaccinated.

Chinese authorities announced they would loosen Covid restrictions by reducing quarantine times by two days, among other measures. Meanwhile, authorities are warning that Covid infections in China could surpass one million as the country loosens its measures. Such factors as the large population, coupled with allegedly low efficacy rates of the Chinese-made vaccine are said to be contributing to the projection of infections in the near future. The holiday season will also see many venturing out and socialising which is also being considered a factor in the expected spike in cases.

Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.