COVID wave on decline, say experts

2023-06-13 08:07:04China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Increase in daily infection rate slows since late May, reports China CDC

The recent wave of COVID-19 is now trending downward, with experts saying China's medical system and the public have coped with the fresh outbreak in an orderly and calm manner.

Domestic infections occurred sporadically between February to early April, but began climbing in late April due to waning immunity among the population, according to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

In its latest weekly update on the COVID-19 situation released on Sunday, the China CDC said that rate of increase of daily infections had slowed since late May and the overall COVID-19 epidemic nationwide is declining.

"The numbers of fever clinic visits, severe cases and deaths in May were higher than those in April, but much lower than those recorded during the previous wave of the epidemic that peaked in late 2022," said the China CDC.

Last month, the mainland reported a total of 2,777 serious COVID-19 cases and 164 related deaths, including three resulting directly from COVID-19 and the remainder linked to a combination of the virus and underlying diseases, it added.

The XBB strain, and its descendants, is currently the dominant strain on the mainland, with its percentage among total infections rising from around 85 percent in early May to 92.4 percent in late May.

Tong Zhaohui, vice-president of Beijing Chaoyang Hospital Affiliated to Capital Medical University, said during a group interview on May 29 that his hospital did not experience a surge in patients recently and it is capable of guaranteeing normal operation.

"Most reinfections have only exhibited mild symptoms and have recovered quickly, and few have suffered high fever," he said.

Zhang Wenhong, head of the infectious disease department at Fudan University's Huashan Hospital in Shanghai, said that the majority of infected patients during this wave of the outbreak suffered less severe symptoms than those infected during the previous wave. "Hospitals are able to handle them in a more effective manner, pushing down this wave's death rate to a very low level," he said during an interview with

He said that with waning immunity and viral mutations, it is likely that more waves of the epidemic will occur in the future, but China's local governments, and medical and disease control systems have already stepped up their preparedness. "The virus is not expected to exert a major impact on social and economic activities and there is no need to overreact," he said.

Lyu Yi, a resident of Wuxi, Jiangsu province, said that her father started showing symptoms such as coughing and fever three weeks ago and went to hospital to receive intravenous injections and medication.

"The hospital seemed to be in a normal state and the drugs that my father needed were readily available," Lyu said.

"It was the first time that he got infected, so we felt a little bit anxious at first," she said. "But seeing that some of my colleagues and friends had all recovered from the infection recently, I soon calmed down," she said.

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