A top health official said on December 14 that it is currently impossible to track the true number of people infected with the virus, with officials warning that the number of people infected with the virus could rise rapidly in the capital Beijing after the Chinese government abandoned its zero-covid-19 policy last week.
After nearly three years of trying to contain the virus, the official statement said the infection rate had suddenly dropped from a peak last month, with the end of group testing and quarantine.
China’s National Health Commission admitted on Dec. 14 that it could no longer release its actual number of infections, with the country no longer needing to test whether it has been infected with the virus.
“The majority of asymptomatic cases are no longer tested for the virus, so it is impossible to accurately report the actual number of asymptomatic cases,” the NHC said. The announcement came after Vice Premier Sun Chunlang said Beijing’s daily infection rate was rising rapidly.
Beijing tourism authorities said on December 13 that they have reopened tour groups for travel within the city.
But as China grapples with a rise in the number of people infected with the virus, millions of vulnerable elderly people have not been fully vaccinated; Experts worry that hospitals lack the resources to treat the infected.
Around 50 patients queued outside the Puran Hospital on December 14, with many Beijing residents said to be infected with the novel coronavirus.
“Basically, when we’re waiting in line here, we’re all going to get infected. If we don’t come here, it won’t be easy,” said a person waiting in line.
“An elderly member of my family has been sick for almost ten days, so I have been standing in line with him at the clinic,” he said.
Currently, restaurants, markets and parks are allowed to open, but some of the infected people are staying at home, and others are staying indoors for fear of being infected.