China Lifting Covid Lockdown Could Kill Upto 2.1 Million People: Report

On Monday, Chinese health authorities reported two coronavirus deaths, both in Beijing


Between 1.3 and 2.1 million lives could be at risk if China scraps its zero-COVID policy due to low vaccination and promotion rates, as well as a lack of hybrid immunity, according to the London-based global health intelligence and analytics firm.

“Mainland China has very low levels of immunity in its entire population. Citizens were vaccinated with home-produced Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines, which have been shown to be significantly less effective and provide less protection against infection and death,” according to analysis by Airfinity.

The global health intelligence company said China’s zero-COVID strategy also means the population has virtually no naturally acquired immunity through previous infection.

“Due to these factors, our analysis shows that if mainland China sees a wave similar to Hong Kong in February, its health system could be pushed to capacity, as there could be between 167 and 279 million cases nationwide, which could affect between 1.3 and 2.1 million dead,” he added.

Dr Louise Blair, Head of Vaccines and Epidemiology at Airfinity, said it was essential for China to ramp up vaccinations to boost immunity to lift its zero-COVID policy, especially given the size of its aging population. “Then China would need hybrid immunity to help the country deal with future waves with minimal impact.”

“This has proven effective in other countries and regions; for example, Hong Kong’s pre-opening efforts to vaccinate the vulnerable only dampened the impact of its first wave, but its protection has been boosted by hybrid immunity to mass infection, which has had much less impact. COVID -19 impactful and deadly waves,” he added.

On Monday, Chinese health authorities reported two coronavirus deaths, both in Beijing, which is seeing its worst outbreak since the start of the COVID pandemic.

These were the first officially reported deaths since restrictions were dramatically eased on December 7, CNN reported. It comes as Chinese social media posts point to a spike in demand at Beijing’s funeral and crematoria.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)

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