Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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“WHO is very concerned over the evolving situation in China, with increasing reports of severe disease,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization, at a weekly news conference. He called on China to accelerate vaccination of the most vulnerable and appealed for detailed information on disease severity, hospital admissions, and intensive care requirements. “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,” he added.

Since 2020, China has implemented strict health restrictions as part of a “zero Covid” policy. However, in early December, most of these measures were lifted without notice due to public frustration and economic impact. As a result, the number of cases has skyrocketed, causing concerns about a high mortality rate among the elderly, who are particularly vulnerable.

“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,” said WHO emergencies chief Michael Ryan. Chinese authorities announced that only those who had directly died of respiratory failure caused by the virus would be counted as Covid deaths, which means most are no longer counted. In fact, China reported on Wednesday that there were no Covid-19 deaths the previous day. Ryan emphasized the need for more vaccinations to combat the spread of the virus.

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