China reports 70% jump in Covid hospitalisation
Since then, cases have risen across the 1.4 billion-person country
The number of COVID-19 hospitalisations in China rose sharply in the week leading up to January 15, reaching their highest level since the pandemic's start.
As per a weekly report published on January 19 by the World Health Organization (WHO), in comparison to the prior week, there were 70% more patients hospitalised in China for the illness, totaling 63,307.
Since COVID-19 initially surfaced more than three years ago, this is the highest weekly statistic that China has disclosed.
At the same time, the WHO said it did not include the almost 60,000 extra COVID-related hospital deaths reported by China last week because it was awaiting precise provincial statistics broken down by week of reporting.
After significant protests in late November, Beijing abruptly ended its tight three-year anti-virus system of regular testing, travel restrictions, and widespread lockdowns in the early days of December.
Since then, cases have risen across the 1.4 billion-person country.
China has been under-reporting the scope of the outbreak, as per the WHO which has repeatedly demanded more comprehensive statistics, including information on deaths, excess mortality and genetic sequences.
According to WHO emergency director Mike Ryan, the number of Covid cases in China may be significantly higher than what the official statistics indicate.
Without warning, hospitals scurried for beds and blood, pharmacists scrambled for meds and officials raced to set up special clinics.
The zero-Covid lockdown was abruptly cancelled. More than a million Covid deaths could occur in China in 2023, according to specialists.
In recent times, vaccination rates have considerably risen in China.
Unanswered was the question of whether in the following weeks sufficient immunisations could be given to prevent an Omicron wave's impacts.