IN CHINA, COVID-19 IS GOING TO BE ACTIVATED. WHAT THE UNITED STATES WOULD FACE AS AN OUTCOME.
As China lifts its long-standing and extremely unpopular “zero-COVID-19” policy, experts predict that the number of COVID-19 cases in the country will skyrocket in the following weeks.
China is currently quite vulnerable due to its population’s under-vaccination, lack of natural immunity to infection, and restricted access to therapies. Older people are especially vulnerable because they are more likely to have severe illnesses. According to experts, there might be up to 2 million casualties and hundreds of millions of infections.
Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, stated in a webinar on Thursday that “I think China is going to explode in the next six to twelve weeks.” We’re going to watch them fall down a 1,000-foot precipice rather than a 5-foot one. He and other specialists warned that a raging pandemic in China might be bad news for containing the virus in the United States because sick passengers would arrive and mutation risks rise whenever a virus infects a large population.
LATEST NEWS: https://newszone365.com/
CHINA ELIMINATES ITS POLICY OF ZERO COVID. HOW WILL THIS AFFECT THE UNITED STATES ?
According to Dr. Jeremy Luban, a virus expert at the UMass Chan Medical School, any time a virus rages out of control, especially in a population as huge as China’s, there is a good likelihood that new variations may evolve. The variants that are currently in circulation in China appear to have been the most common ones here, including the omicron subvariants BA.5 and BQ.1.
On a Massachusetts Consortium on Pathogen Readiness media call on Wednesday, Luban stated that there is “no specific cause to be concerned” other than the fact that many diseases are terrible for the emergence of novel organisms that we cannot predict. The more China’s infection rate can be regulated, the better.
Dr. Ashish Jha, the coordinator for the White House’s coronavirus response, said in a news conference on Thursday that the United States closely monitors for infections and variants among passengers using wastewater and other methods.
I’m optimistic we’ll be able to deal with any new varieties that appear, he said.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT IN CHINA?
According to one scenario, COVID-19 alone will cause up to 1.6 million fatalities in China, 5 million hospital admissions, and 100 million symptomatic instances, not including the stress on the healthcare system that will result in even more tragedies, said Jennifer Bouey, a RAND epidemiologist.
She claimed that the country does not have enough intensive care units to handle the level of demand, and she anticipates that the healthcare system will be overburdened. Donations to blood banks are already in short supply, she claimed.
William Hanage, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, stated in the conversation with Luban that more than 2 million Chinese citizens would likely die in the following months if mainland China’s mortality rate matched that of Hong Kong during an outbreak in February and March.
WHY IS CHINA CURRENTLY SO EXPOSED TO
- Natural immunity: Due to the “zero-COVID-19” policy, few Chinese individuals have contracted the disease; thus, they don’t have a natural immune system, according to Bouey. Approximately 90% of Chinese people had their first round of vaccines, but significantly fewer received booster doses, and the majority of those shots were given more than six months earlier, according to the expert.
- Lack of confidence: At the beginning of the epidemic, there were a few controversies involving patients receiving phoney or tainted COVID-19 vaccines, which lowered public confidence in them, according to Timothy Heath, a senior international security researcher at RAND.
- Myths about vaccinations: The government also prioritised immunising young, healthy people, which led to the public’s misperception that the vaccine might be harmful to elderly people.
CHINA FACES “A VERY DIFFICULT PATH AHEAD
- The “Chinese” government dropped its zero-COVID-19 restrictions on December 1 in response to strong public complaints. According to Bouey, there is not much evidence that the Chinese government is willing to abruptly relax its limitations. This summer, a significant pre-purchase of antiviral medications together with a booster campaign would have made a significant difference.She noted that the administration had only recently begun to discuss boosters and antivirals. Reversing direction now, according to Heath, “would further fuel Chinese citizens’ mistrust and skepticism, who are unsure how much truth the government is truly telling.”
He and Bouey both asserted that they do not believe the government is currently appropriately reporting COVID-19 cases. Official figures claim that the number of infections is declining, but social media, deserted streets and stores, a lack of medication, and long wait times at hospitals suggest otherwise.
Nevertheless, Hanage believes China would have fewer deaths per person than the United States because the country postponed its outbreak until after vaccines became available. Don’t get me wrong; China faces a very difficult path ahead of it in the next few months, but without the vaccine, things would be much, much worse.
For more information: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2022/12/07/china-anti-covid-19-measures-rolled-back/10850310002/