- China reports severe disease cases of COVID-19
- World Health Organisation alarmed over the rise of cases in China
- Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus appeals for detailed information from Beijing on disease severity
Chief of World Health Organisation, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, on Wednesday, said he is “very concerned” over the unprecedented wave of COVID-19 cases in China following which the health body has urged Beijing to fast-track the vaccinations of the most vulnerable.
During a weekly press conference, WHO Chief said “WHO is very concerned over the evolving situation in China, with increasing reports of severe disease,” as he appealed to China for detailed information on the disease severity, hospital admissions and Intensive Care Unit (ICU)requirements.
He also said, “WHO is supporting China to focus its efforts on vaccinating people at the highest risk across the country, and we continue to offer our support for clinical care and protecting its health system”.
Since 2020, when the Coronavirus first appeared in China, Beijing imposed strict health restrictions as part of its “zero Covid” policy all around the country. However, the government ended most of those measures without prior notices in early December amid growing backlash from the Chinese population along with a prolonged severe impact on the economy.
Since the restrictions were lifted, China has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases which has raised fears of a high mortality rate among the elderly, who are particularly vulnerable. The Chinese authorities, on Tuesday, said that only those who had directly died due to respiratory failure caused by COVID-19 will be counted under the disease death statistics.
This change in the criteria for recording COVID-19 related deaths means most of them will no longer be counted and on Wednesday the Chinese government said that on Tuesday not a single person died because of COVID-19.
World Health Organisation emergencies Chief, Michael Ryan, said that there is a need to increase the number of vaccinations in China for COVID-19, “We’ve been saying this for weeks that this highly infectious virus was always going to be very hard to stop completely, with just public health and social measures”.
He added, “And most countries have really transitioned to a mixed strategy.
“Vaccination is the exit strategy in that sense from the impact of a wave of Omicron”, the prevalent Covid variant.