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The world is worried about China’s new wave of Covid-19

20.12.22 23:00
Officials and global health experts are concerned about the Covid-19 wave in China, as there is no adequate vaccination coverage in the nearly one and a half billion nation.

Officials in Europe and the United States are scrambling to understand how and whether it is possible to mitigate the crisis, which could undermine the global economy, further slow down supply chains and also could create new strains of the coronavirus. Diplomatic discussions are taking place with the Chinese side, and carefully thought-out statements are being made to the media, designed to indicate that the ball is now in China’s court.

Early preparation, accurate and open data collection, and open communication are essential to combating mass disease, but health experts say China appears to be lacking these essential aspects.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has long insisted that the Communist party is well prepared to fight the virus, and that vaccines developed in China are far superior to those used in Western countries. However, the evidence suggests otherwise.

The governments of the democratic countries are now faced with diplomatically difficult questions to stop the brewing crisis. Craig Singleton, deputy director of the China program at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said that it is important not to underestimate the issue of the honor of the Chinese president – accepting help from Western countries would mean a deep hole in self-pride and would damage the belief that China’s power model is superior to others.

One of the issues in the negotiations is the delivery of BioNTech’s improved mRNA vaccines to China – they are believed to be more effective than those produced in China. However, Western countries do not openly offer vaccines, rather they take a waiting position, ready to offer the necessary assistance.

Beijing has said it will be able to cope without help from other countries, and the death toll will be lower than in the US or Europe.

Meanwhile, health experts are worried it may be too late to prevent the tragedy. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said that China should have been prepared for this situation, because it is too late to change anything now, and the wave of Covid-19 will sweep through China without obstacles.

There are more than 160 million diabetics in China, and at least eight million seniors over the age of 80 have not received the vaccine. These individuals are at risk in a group that may be hit particularly hard by Covid-19, BNN reports.

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