President Xi Jinping’s “zero-Covid policy” is dead and so are thousands of Chinese citizens.
As the Omicron strain runs rampant inside the country, at least 9,000 people are dying each day. By the middle of January, that figure is “estimated to peak at 25,000” every 24 hours.
The numbers are horrifying the ruling Communist Party after being accused by the World Health Organization of burying vital data. Official statistics have also been branded inaccurate.
“Covid-19 infections [are predicted] to reach their first peak in China on January 13 with 3.7 million cases a day,” Airfinity, the healthcare research group, said.
“Deaths are estimated to peak 10 days later at approximately 25,000 a day. By that stage the total [could reach] 584,000 since the virus began surging across the country in December,” the data company based in the United Kingdom pointed out.
“We predict 1.7 million deaths across China by the end of April 2023,” Airfinity added.
Out of control:
- Experts estimate that 60% of China’s 1.4 billion population could be infected in the months ahead.
- That is roughly 10% of the global population.
- More than one million people in China are at risk of dying from Covid this year.
- The projection was released last month by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle.
Delve deeper: “As the virus rages, Xi’s supporters have defaulted to another familiar script: insist on the Party’s wisdom, blame local officials for any failures, punish those who argue and hope to ride out the crisis,” China watcher Isabel Hilton wrote in The Observer, a London-based national newspaper.
Tainted image: “Xi’s supreme position in the Party was secured at the 20th Congress in October. His reputation in the country – and China’s image in the world – may not recover,” she concluded.
Alternative view: China’s state-run media is pedaling the usual propaganda. According to Global Times, the main enemy is not the Covid-19 virus but the Western press.
Blame game: “Western media outlets and elites are only accusing China to make themselves feel better. But the day the West wants to see – when China is trapped in a worse quagmire of the epidemic than the West – will not come,” Global Times said in an editorial.
China Factor comment: Xi’s abrupt U-turn last month by ditching his “zero-Covid policy” has proved how ineffective his administration is. Instead of beefing up the healthcare sector and rolling out a major vaccination booster program, he has left a void of chaos.