China continues to ease restrictions against Covid-19, Xi Jinping calls for “building a solid bulwark against the epidemic”

As China faces an outbreak of pollution after abandoning its zero-covid policy, its President Xi Jinping ordered on Monday, December 26. “Build a Castle” against virus “protect” Lives in China.

Since the outbreak began in 2020, China has imposed strict measures that have spared those most at risk and those with few vaccines. Authority put an end to this policy And most of the restrictions that occurred on December 7The growing frustration of the population And was significantly affected Economy from the country. The latest episode to date, this Monday: the announcement by the Ministry of Health to end mandatory quarantine upon arrival in the country from January 8. A negative test of less than 48 hours is now required to enter China.

However, the easing of measures at the beginning of the month is already having consequences. The virus is spreading at high speed and the number of cases is exploding, raising fears of high mortality, especially among the vulnerable elderly. Several crematoriums have reported an unusually high number of bodies arriving for cremation in recent days. The situation is largely ignored by the Chinese media. Hospitals are also overcrowded, and anti-influenza drugs are very difficult to find in pharmacies.

“Covid-19 Prevention and Control in China Faces a New Situation”, Xi Jinping said on Monday, state television CCTV quoted. It was the first public comment by Beijing’s strongman since most health measures were unexpectedly abandoned. “We should have a more focused patriotic health campaign (…) And build a strong bulwark against infection”Without further details, Xi Jinping ordered.

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A million people are at risk

According to estimates by several Western studies, the lifting of these restrictions will lead to the death of about one million people in the coming months. China announced on Sunday that it will no longer publish statistics related to Covid-19. They were widely criticized due to their gross inconsistency with the current wave of pandemics hitting the country.

Previously, semi-mandatory PCR tests made it possible to reliably follow the course of the epidemic, but victims now carry out self-tests at home and rarely report the results to the authorities, which prevents reliable statistics.

According to an official report, the planet’s most populous country has recorded only six deaths from Covid-19 since restrictions were lifted. According to many experts, this number is often underestimated.

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Unofficial statistics

In recent days, the Chinese have noticed an apparent discrepancy between official figures and the fact that most of their relatives have been infected or died. The major metropolis of Canton (South) with a population of 19 million has announced the postponement. “After January 10” Funeral rites.

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Another source of controversy: Under the authorities’ new system, only those who die directly from a respiratory illness linked to Covid-19 are now counted as having died from the disease.

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However, some local governments have begun to present estimates of the extent of the epidemic. Health officials in Zhejiang (Eastern), south of Shanghai, ruled on Sunday that the daily pollution toll in the province of 65 million people has now surpassed the million mark. In Qingdao (east), a city of 10 million people, half a million people are infected daily, a municipal official quoted by the official press estimated. Officials in the capital Beijing counted on Saturday “A large number of affected people” And called “Do everything possible to improve the recovery rate and reduce the mortality rate”.

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The world with AFP

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