Nurses and doctors work in the Covid-19 ICU in France
China Rolls Back Zero-COVID Policy In Stunning Reversal After Protests Photo by Jeff Pachoud/AFP via Getty Images

Leaked notes from top Chinese health officials revealed on Wednesday, a whopping estimate of 250 million Covid-19 infections in December. The estimate remains unconfirmed, however, sources said if the figures are correct, it would account for 18% of China’s 1.4 billion people, making it the largest Covid outbreak to date.

According to CNN, the estimate was presented during an internal meeting of China’s National Health Commission (NHC). CNN acquired the report from the Financial Times and Bloomberg, which also said the meeting discussed the details regarding the treatment of patients infected by Covid. A copy of notes presented during the NHC meeting was shared on social media on Friday but remains unconfirmed. Among the estimates cited from both sources, it was also revealed that on Tuesday alone, a total of 37 million people had been newly infected with Covid-19 across the country. The number of newly infected was in absolute contrast with previous reports of infected that day which amounted to around 3,000.

Sun Yang, the deputy director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention reportedly presented the estimate to officials during the meeting. Furthermore, the recent Covid outbreak in China also has seen a continued rise of new cases with half of the population in Beijing and Sichuan already infected. Despite the recent estimates, the Chinese government maintains its decision to end its zero Covid policy, which had been in place for almost three years.

Meanwhile, smaller cities suffer the brunt of the outbreak. Locals diagnosed with Covid-19 and requiring immediate medical care are left with nowhere to go as hospitals are filled to the brim with patients. The lack of hospital ICU capacity in small towns and cities has forced patients in critical condition to travel and seek medical care in bigger cities.

As the Covid situation in China continues to worsen, emergency wards in smaller cities and towns southwest of the capital are unable to cope with the sheer amount of patients. Some hospitals are turning away ambulances, relatives of the sick searching for vacant beds, with patients being forced to sleep on benches in the corridors, and some lying on the floor due to lack of beds.

Representation Image Hospital Equipment cleankidsmagazin/ Pixabay

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