Almost 900 million people in China have been infected with Covid as of January II, according to a study by Peking University which estimated that 64% of the country’s population has the virus. The study ranked Gansu province at the top among provinces saying that 91% of the people in the province are reported to be infected. The province was followed by Yunnan (84%) and Qinghai (80%).
This comes as a top Chinese epidemiologist warned that cases will surge in rural China over the lunar new year and the peak of China’s Covid wave is expected to last two to three months. Zeng Guang, former head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control made the comments as hundreds of millions of Chinese are travelling to their hometowns ahead of the lunar new year.
Zeng Guang said it was “time to focus on the rural areas”, in remarks reported by the local media, adding, many elderly, sick and disabled in the rural areas were already being left behind in terms of Covid treatment.
The lunar new year holidays in China officially start from January 21 and are also called the world’s largest annual migration of people as almost two billion trips are expected to be made in total. Tens of millions of people have already travelled, Reuters reported.
Last month, China abruptly abandoned its strict ‘zero-Covid’ policy after massive nationwide protests.