Nearly 90% of the population of China’s third most populous province has been infected with Covid-19a senior official reported this Monday, at a time when the country faces a strong outbreak of infections.
Kan Quancheng, director of the central Henan province health commission, told a press conference that “as of January 6, 2023, the infection rate in the province is 89 percent.”
With a population of 99.4 million, the figures suggest that 88.5 million people would have been infected with the coronavirus.
Kan noted that clinic visits peaked on Dec. 19, “after which a declining trend was shown.”
China is facing a surge in infections after it ended years of lockdowns, quarantines and mass testing in December that battered the economy and sparked protests.
Beijing on Sunday lifted the mandatory quarantine for those arriving from abroad and reopened its border with the southern semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong.
It is feared that infections will skyrocket when China celebrates the Lunar New Year. Millions of people travel from the cities to visit their relatives in the interior for that date.
In the first wave of trips prior to that holiday, official figures indicated that 34.7 million people were internally displaceda third more than last year, according to the state press.
Official data indicated last week that only 120,000 people have been infected and 30 have died since restrictions were lifted in early December.
Beijing modified the criteria to define when someone died of covid-19 and abolished mandatory tests, so its figures do not reflect the magnitude of the outbreak.
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