After almost three years of lockdown, China has reopened its borders to international travel. And this despite the fact that the virus is currently raging worse there than at the beginning of the pandemic.
According to estimates by the London-based data processor Airfinity, 2.5 million people are currently infected with Sars-CoV-2 every day in the world’s most populous country, while 16,600 die in connection with the virus. In mid-January, the number of new infections every day could rise to 3.7 million. According to these estimates, there have already been 209,000 deaths. According to the projections, the number of corona deaths could increase to 1.7 million by the end of April.
These estimates differ greatly from the officially reported numbers from China. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there have been 10,566,576 confirmed infections with Sars-CoV-2 since the beginning of the pandemic and 32,792 related deaths. For comparison: Germany has reported almost 37,500,000 infections and 162,518 deaths in connection with Sars-CoV-2 to the WHO since the beginning of the pandemic. And with a significantly smaller population.
The fact that the figures are not published transparently in China is criticized worldwide. That’s why companies like “Airfinity” are trying to simulate the numbers using computer models. And that’s why the world population is cautious about the entry of Chinese tourists.
China recently reopened its borders after almost three years of corona lockdown. However, due to the massive corona wave in China and concerns about new virus variants, the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin is currently advising against “unnecessary trips” to the country.
The number of infections in China is at its highest level since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020: “The Chinese health system is overburdened, and adequate care in medical emergencies is also affected,” says the foreign office’s travel and safety instructions. According to the Robert Koch Institute, China (with the exception of Hong Kong) will be considered a “virus variant area in which a worrying virus variant threatens to appear” according to the new entry regulation.
Further waves of infection are expected in China for the Chinese New Year on January 22nd. Hundreds of millions of people traditionally travel to their home villages and visit relatives for the most important Chinese family festival.
Experts fear that the virus will be carried from the metropolises that are now affected to the – even less prepared – inland provinces and rural areas. A particularly large number of old people live in rural areas, and in China they are often not adequately protected by vaccinations for fear of side effects. In addition, medical care is inadequate in many places.
According to “Airfinity”, the daily new infections with Sars-CoV-2 could then reach their absolute peak at the beginning of March with 4.2 million people per day.
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