Type to search

China Study Warns Of Huge Covid Outbreak If It Opens Up

China could face more than 630,000 Covid-19 infections a day if it dropped its zero-tolerance policies by lifting travel curbs, a study by Peking University mathematicians has warned


shanghai
Shanghai reported 24 new domestically transmitted Covid cases with confirmed symptoms for Sunday and another 734 asymptomatic infections, official data showed on Monday. File photo: Aly Song, Reuters.

 

China could face more than 630,000 Covid-19 infections a day if it dropped its zero-tolerance policies by lifting travel curbs, according to a study by Peking University mathematicians.

In the report published in China CDC Weekly by the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the mathematicians said China could not afford to lift travel restrictions without more efficient vaccinations or specific treatments.

Using data for August from the United States, Britain, Spain, France and Israel, the mathematicians assessed the potential results if China adopted the same pandemic control tactics as those countries.

China’s daily new cases would reach at least 637,155 if it adopted the United States’ pandemic strategy, the report said.

And daily cases would hit 275,793 if China took the same approach as Britain and 454,198 if it imitated France, it said.

“The estimates revealed the real possibility of a colossal outbreak which would almost certainly induce an unaffordable burden on the medical system,” the report said.

“Our findings have raised a clear warning that, for the time being, we are not ready to embrace ‘open-up’ strategies resting solely on the hypothesis of herd immunity induced by vaccination advocated by certain western countries.”

The mathematicians cautioned that their estimates were based on basic arithmetic calculations and that more sophisticated models were needed to study the evolution of the pandemic if travel restrictions were lifted.

China has maintained a zero-tolerance policy towards Covid-19, saying the importance of containing local cases when they are found outweighs the disruptions caused by efforts to trace, isolate and treat the infected.

China reported 23 new confirmed coronavirus cases for November 27, down from 25 a day earlier, its health authority said on Sunday.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday designated a new Covid-19 variant detected in South Africa with a large number of mutations as being “of concern”, prompting some countries to impose travel curbs.

 

• Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard

 

 

ALSO SEE:

Scientists Race to Test Omicron as More People Found With New Variant

 

How Worried Should We Be About The Omicron Variant?

 

More States Ban Flights, Shut Borders Over New Covid Variant

 

China Locks Down City on Russian Border – SCMP

 

Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years and has a family in Bangkok.

logo

AF China Bond