Covid can kill one million in China, says Hong Kong study

Dristi Sharma
Dristi SharmaDec 17, 2022 | 11:42

Covid can kill one million in China, says Hong Kong study

New study claims one million people can die in China due to Covid. Photo: DailyO

The tiff between China and Covid-19 is far from over, from new variants to protests against its Zero Covid norms, it doesn't seem to stop. Now, a new study claims that almost one million people in China may die due to Covid-19, as the government rapidly eases pandemic curbs. 

Medical workers preparing equipment outside a fever clinic in Beijing / AP

The report predicts that local health systems across all provinces in China would be unable to cope with the surge of Covid-19 cases posed by reopening, between December 2022 and January 2023.


What was the study about? 

The study, 'Modelling the adjustment of Covid-19 response and exit from dynamic zero-COVID in China', co-authored by Gabriel Leung, the former dean of medicine at the University of Hong Kong, was released yesterday, December 15. According to the study, a nationwide reopening can kill 684 people per million. Going by China's population, the total death toll could be 964,400Bloomberg reported

The surge of disease burden posed by reopening in December 2022-January 2023 would likely overload many local health systems across the country
- Excerpt from the study 

What are the reasons for China's Covid? 

  • The study claims that one of the major reasons for the spread of Covid-19 is the absence of a nationwide vaccine campaign.   
  • The efficiency of Chinese vaccines: Chinese companies Sinovac and Sinopharm have made the country two main Covid-19 vaccines, both of which have been approved by the World Health Organization.
  • WHO says the Sinovac vaccine is about 50% effective and Sinopharm is 78% effective.
  • Dr Abhisheel Das (MBBS), from Kolkata, explains to DailyO that the low efficiency of the vaccines has resulted in a lack of herd immunity among people. 
Sinopharm vaccine representative image
  • Low elderly vaccination rate: Even though China recently sped up its vaccination process among the elderly, the numbers still remain low.
  • Bloomberg reports that only 69% of those aged 60 and above and 40% of 80-year-olds and above in China have had booster shots as of November 29. 
Vaccination for the elderly in China representative image
  • Vaccine hesitancy: NPR reports that Chinese people have deep-seated vaccine hesitancy. Many are suspicious of the product quality given China's reputation for manufacturing and pharmaceuticals. 

Despite the issues, the study says proper management and vaccination can prevent a disaster.

Last updated: December 17, 2022 | 11:42
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