Amid Covid resurgence, China’s hospitals seem to be filling up: WHO

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Geneva, Dec 22 (IANS): The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that amid an ongoing resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic in China, hospitals across the country seem to be filling up.

Addressing the media here on Wednesday, Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, said: “In China, what’s been reported is relatively low numbers of cases in ICUs, but anecdotally ICUs are filling up.

“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”.

The top health official’s remarks come despite Chinese authorities saying that the number of people in hospitals due to Covid-19 are “relatively low”, the BBC reported.

In the past few days, hospitals in Beijing and other cities have been filling up but official figures show only five people died from Covid on Tuesday and two on Monday.

Also speaking at the same news conference, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he is “very concerned over the evolving situation in China” and appealed for specific data on disease severity, hospital admissions and intensive care requirements.

In an effort to address concerns over the sudden new outbreak, China’s State Council held a news conference on Tuesday in which infectious disease expert Prof Wang Gui-qiang clarified that only pneumonia and respiratory failure caused by the coronavirus were counted as Covid deaths, reports the BBC.

Deaths caused by underlying diseases are not included in the official count, according to the state-owned China News Service reported.

According to official figures by the WHO, China has registered a total of 10,112,335 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 31,431 deaths since the outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020.

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