China reports 2 Covid deaths as designated crematoriums see surge China reports 2 Covid deaths as designated crematoriums see surge

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Hong Kong, Dec 19 (IANS) China on Monday officially confirmed two new deaths from Covid-19 after its National Health Commission (NHC) reported no death from the respiratory disease since December 3, as reports surfaced that number of Covid-positive dead bodies arriving at Covid-designated crematoriums increased.

A total of 1,344 Covid-19 patients were discharged from hospitals after recovery on the mainland on Sunday, said the NHC in its daily report.

Sunday saw two new deaths from Covid-19, with the total death toll at 5,237, reports Xinhua news agency.

Chinese news website Caixin reported three deaths, including two state media journalists, after contracting Covid over the weekend. The government, however, did not confirm those.

China is also facing a crunch in medical workers as many succumb to Covid-19 amid a surge in cases throughout the country.

Caixin learned that several hospitals in Beijing have faced staffing constraints, as more doctors get struck down by the virus.

Smaller cities are also faced with similar constraints.

“In a county-level city in Central China’s Hubei province, one doctor estimated that 20 per cent of medical staff in his hospital had been infected, and that percentage reached 50 among those working in high-risk settings, including fever clinic and emergency department,” the report mentioned.

Meanwhile, a top Chinese health official believed that China is experiencing the first of three expected waves of Covid infections this winter.

However, there are concerns that these numbers are an underestimate due to a recent reduction in Covid testing, BBC reported.

Epidemiologist Wu Zunyou said that he believes the current spike in infections would run until mid-January, while the second wave would then be triggered by mass travel in January around the week-long Lunar New Year celebrations which begin on 21 January. Millions of people usually travel at this time to spend the holiday with family, the BBC reported.



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