Xi Jinping sees ‘light of hope’ as China stares at spike in Covid deaths

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Beijing, Jan 1 (IANS) Chinese President Xi Jinping, in his New Year address, has said that the “light of hope is right in front of us” as the country goes through a massive Covid surge amid lack of ground data.

“Epidemic prevention and control is entering a new phase. Everyone is working resolutely, and the light of hope is right in front of us,” Jinping said in a TV address late on Saturday.

Last week, the Chinese President had called for strict measures to “effectively protect people’s lives”.

His fresh remarks came as the World Health Organisation (WHO) chief lamented the absence of comprehensive Covid information from China.

“In the absence of comprehensive information from #China, it is understandable that countries around the world are acting in ways that they believe may protect their populations,” the WHO chief said in a tweet last week.

He said that the world health body remains concerned about the evolving situation.

Meanwhile, Airfinity, a London-based forecasting firm, has predicted Covid-19 infections to reach their first peak in China on January 13, with 3.7 million cases a day.

On the other hand, China on Saturday reported over 7,000 new coronavirus infections and just one death.

According to Airfinity data, deaths are estimated to peak 10 days later at approximately 25,000 a day, by that stage a total of 584,000 since the virus began surging across the country in December.

“We predict 1.7 million deaths across China by the end of April 2023,” the firm said.

Airfinity’s model is based on data from China’s regional provinces, before changes to reporting infections were implemented, combined with case growth rates from other former Covid-zero countries when they lifted restrictions such as Hong Kong and Japan.



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