While the rest of the globe has been reporting a few infections daily over the previous few months, China is experiencing a rapid rise in Covid cases and deaths. Several sources claim that the Chinese healthcare system is under stress due to an increase in infections and fatalities. New questions concerning the pandemic have been prompted by the current scenario in China, such as “Why are Covid instances rising in China now?” and “Will the same problem repeat itself in the rest of the world?”
The Real Picture
According to a fresh analysis from a London-based analytics business, Bloomberg reported Thursday that China, which is fighting to manage what is possibly the largest Covid-19 outbreak the world has ever seen, maybe record a million Covid-19 cases and 5,000 fatalities every 24 hours.
According to Airfinity Ltd., the current wave of cases, which has been made worse by China’s insistence on abandoning Covid protocols as well as the appearance of BF.7, a new Omicron subvariant, could rise to 3.7 million daily new cases by the end of the month and a terrifying 4.2 million by the end of March.
Experts claim that following the initial Covid virus outbreak in China, the government occasionally adopted the zero-covid policy, resulting in extremely stringent lockdown conditions that prevented people from being exposed to more recent sub-variants like Delta or Omicron. Because of this, the average level of immunity in China did not rise to the same degree as it did in the rest of the globe. The relaxation of the zero-covid policy is now causing a significant increase in infections because the majority of Chinese people were not exposed to different sub-variants of the virus on a widespread basis.
Another factor is that 130 million old individuals in China are at risk for immunization failure or non-immunization. If the virus spreads unchecked in China, mortality in this population would most likely be quite high—possibly exceeding 1 million. According to leading Chinese epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding, 1-2 million fatalities could occur overall as a result.
The Bigger Picture
Having spent the last two years in a pandemic, and only recently the world getting back to “normal”, this new widespread spread of the same virus has raised some questions and eyebrows.
It’s not just a health emergency that COVID-19 is spreading. The pandemic now has a geopolitical component. The health crisis disrupted the delivery of global public goods, exacerbated competitive dynamics between the USA and China, and introduced instability into the global order.
The “game changer” cluster mutations present in the Covid-19 virus are of great concern. These make the virus more transmissible, highly infectious. Also able to dodge human immune systems’ antibodies produced by earlier infections and vaccinations. There were more than 10 mutations in these problematic variations. There were 18 mutations in the Delta variant.
This genetically modified chimeric virus has been improved by gain of function-accelerated manual mutations, resulting in several variants. Under the guise of an on and off pandemic, the sudden development of cluster mutations in some parts of the world would raise the potential of deliberate biowar.
It’s challenging to predict whether the world would experience another wave of Covid because there is now no precise information available from China regarding how the new sub-variant of Omicron BF.7, which is driving this new wave, is changing.
Let’s hope that the situation doesn’t arise since the rest of the globe has better immunity from earlier exposure to the virus and better vaccinations.
All we can do is take the precautions we took before and hope we don’t get 2023 as a 2.0 version of 2020.