China, which stood out thanks to its “zero COVID-19” strategy, is now facing a powerful wave caused by the Omicron variant. Experts say the sudden increase in the number of cases may be caused by the country’s “low immunization level”.
Updated at 0:00
China on Tuesday reported 5,280 cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, the highest toll since the first epidemic wave in early 2020. A staggering number of cases in the country with a “zero COVID-19” policy in response to the epidemic.
“Despite the measures we’ve taken, we were surprised in Quebec by the speed of omicron transmission, so maybe that’s why China is seeing a sudden increase,” says Natalie Grandeux, a researcher at the University’s Research Laboratory on Host Response to Viral Infections. From Montreal Hospital Center.
So far, China has managed to bring the outbreak under control with local lockdowns, mass screening, and control of its population through tracing apps, while keeping the country’s borders virtually closed.
“They are taking much stricter measures than what we saw in Quebec to block transmission, so they may be controlling this wave effectively, but we will see if the zero-technology COVID-19 holds up to Omicron,” said Spear Mme Grandvu.
Amid a record spike in COVID-19 cases, 17 million people were locked down in Shenzhen, a technology hub in southern China, on Monday, while restrictions were imposed in other major cities across the country. In Shanghai, China’s most populous metropolis, residential neighborhoods have been cordoned off.
Experts fear that the number of infected people in China since the beginning of the epidemic has hurt him. Natural infection adds individual protection, which makes it possible to prevent the arrival of the virus. Unlike in many countries, not many people in China have had the virus,” says Benoit Barbeau, a virologist and professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Quebec in Montreal.
China has recorded only 116,000 cases for 1.4 billion people since the beginning of the epidemic. By comparison, Canada has recorded more than 3.3 million cases of infection for a population of 38 million.
The arrival of a new species in a virgin country such as China may cause damages. The risk of spreading the virus remains high.
Benoit Barbeau, virologist and professor of biological sciences
“Many countries have chosen this strategy [zéro COVID-19] They gave up, because they realized that it would not be sustainable in the long term,” adds Mme Grandvu.
It reminds us that strategy is a laudable but unrealistic goal. It is not easy to isolate the population from the rest of the world. She was working when we thought the pandemic would last six months, but now we’re two years in,” she says.
According to the specialist, it is necessary to take strict measures, but you also need a plan to get out of the epidemic. “I don’t see how China will get there,” she concluded.
Other countries, such as France, are facing an increase in the number of cases. The country is currently recording a daily average of more than 65,000 infections, up from 50,646 injuries last week.
On Monday, the College of Physicians of Quebec noted the importance of “extreme vigilance” in light of the “significant re-emergence of cases internationally”. “Let’s protect ourselves and think of the most vulnerable,” he said on Twitter.
The epidemic has officially killed more than 6,041,660 people worldwide since the end of December 2019. The United States is the country with the most deaths (967552), ahead of Brazil (655,078), India (515,877) and Russia (36,134), according to another A report from Agence France-Presse.
For its part, the World Health Organization estimates that the epidemic toll could be two or three times higher than what has been officially determined.
“Extreme twitteraholic. Passionate travel nerd. Hardcore zombie trailblazer. Web fanatic. Evil bacon geek.”