Chinese city sees half a million Covid cases a day: Official

The country has adjusted its zero-Covid strategy this month, and in the latest report from the National Health Commission, no new deaths were recorded


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Published: Sat 24 Dec 2022, 3:11 PM

Last updated: Sat 24 Dec 2022, 3:17 PM

One city in China is reportedly seeing half a million Covid-19 cases every day, a senior health official has said.

China has adjusted its zero-Covid strategy this month, doing away with snap lockdowns, lengthy quarantines and travel curbs in a reversal of its hallmark containment strategy.

The end of strict testing mandates, however, has reportedly made caseloads difficult to track. The authorities have also narrowed the medical definition of a Covid death in a move experts have said will impact the number of fatalities attributable to the virus.

A news outlet operated by the ruling Communist Party in Qingdao on Friday reported the municipal health chief as saying that the eastern city was seeing "between 490,000 and 530,000" new Covid cases a day.

The coastal city of around 10 million people was "in a period of rapid transmission ahead of an approaching peak", Bo Tao reportedly said, adding that the infection rate could accelerate by another 10 percent over the weekend.

China's National Health Commission said on Saturday that 4,103 new domestic infections were recorded nationwide the previous day, with no new deaths.


In Shandong, the province where Qingdao is located, authorities officially logged just 31 new domestic cases.

The government of eastern Jiangxi province said in a Friday social media post that 80 per cent of its population -- equivalent to around 36 million people -- would be infected by March.

More than 18,000 Covid patients had been admitted to major medical institutions in the province in the two weeks up to Thursday, including nearly 500 severe cases but no deaths, the statement said.

The southern manufacturing hub of Dongguan said Friday that outbreak modelling indicated up to 300,000 new infections per day, adding that the rate was "accelerating faster and faster".

"Many medical resources and personnel are enduring challenges and huge pressure with no historical precedent," read a statement issued by the health bureau of the city of 10.5 million.

A senior health official in Hainan said Friday the island province would reach peak infections "very soon", while in the eastern megacity of Shanghai more than 40,000 patients were treated for "fevers", the state-run People's Daily newspaper reported Saturday.

Authorities in Chongqing launched a campaign to inoculate residents with inhalable vaccines.


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