Home / News / World /  COVID cases touch 900 mn in China, to hit rural areas next

In China, over 900 million people have been infected with the coronavirus as of 11 January, that is 64% of the country's population got the virus, a Peking University study revealed.

It ranks Gansu province, where 91% of the people are reported to be infected, at the top, followed by Yunnan, (84%) and and Qinghai (80%).

Meanwhile, a top Chinese epidemiologist predicts COVID will hit rural areas next and peak ahead of the lunar new year.  He also warned the peak of China's Covid wave is expected to last two to three months

Infections are expected to surge in rural areas as hundreds of millions travel to their hometowns for the Lunar New Year holidays, which officially start from Jan. 21, known before the pandemic as the world's largest annual migration of people.

China last month abruptly abandoned the strict anti-virus regime of mass lockdowns that fuelled historic protests across the country in late November, and finally reopened its borders this past Sunday.

The abrupt dismantling of restrictions has unleashed the virus onto China's 1.4 billion people, more than a third of whom live in regions where infections are already past their peak, according to state media.

But the worst of the outbreak was not yet over, warned Zeng Guang, the former chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a report published in local media outlet Caixin on Thursday.

"Our priority focus has been on the large cities. It is time to focus on rural areas," Zeng was quoted as saying.

He said a large number of people in the countryside, where medical facilities are relatively poor, are being left behind, including the elderly, the sick and the disabled.

The World Health Organization this week also warned of the risks stemming from holiday travelling. The UN agency said China was heavily under-reporting deaths from COVID, although it is now providing more information on its outbreak.

Although international health experts have predicted at least 1 million COVID-related deaths this year, China has reported just over 5,000 since the pandemic began, one of the lowest death rates in the world.

(With inputs from agencies)

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Recommended For You
Get alerts on WhatsApp
Set Preferences My ReadsWatchlistFeedbackRedeem a Gift CardLogout