China claims Covid outbreak has infected 80% of its population – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

China claims Covid outbreak has infected 80% of its population




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The chance of a major Covid-19 recovery in China in the next two to three months is slim because 80 percent of people are infected, a prominent government scientist said.

The mass movement of people during the ongoing Lunar New Year holiday could spread the pandemic and increase infections in some areas, but a second wave of Covid is unlikely in the near term, said Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, speaking on the Weibo social platform.

Hundreds of millions of Chinese are traveling across the country for holiday gatherings that had been suspended amid recently loosened Covid curbs, stoking fears of new outbreaks in rural areas less equipped to deal with large outbreaks.

China has passed the peak of Covid patients in fever clinics, emergency rooms and those with critical conditions, a National Health Commission official said on Thursday.

Nearly 60,000 people with Covid had died in hospital as of Jan. 12, government figures say, about a month after China abruptly abandoned its zero-Covid policy.

But some experts said that number likely vastly underestimates the full impact, as it excludes those who die at home and because many doctors said they were discouraged from citing Covid as the cause of death.

Meanwhile, yesterday France’s top appeals court dismissed a judicial inquiry into former health minister Agnes Buzyn’s alleged negligence in her handling of the Covid pandemic.

Ms Buzyn, Minister of Health from May 2017 to February 2020, resigned shortly after the pandemic began to run for mayor of Paris, although she was not elected.

In September 2021, public complaints against Ms Buzyn sparked an investigation into her handling of the pandemic by the Cour de Justice de La Republique, a special court that hears cases brought against government officials.

The Cour de Cassation ruled on Ms Buzyn’s legal appeal to the investigation, stating that the committee of inquiry had failed to provide evidence of legislation that would have enabled it to conclude that Ms Buzyn had breached a special duty of diligence.

“The offence of endangering others can only be charged against a person if a law or regulation imposes a particular duty of care or safety,” the court said, adding that investigators failed to demonstrate such an obligation with regard to the minister, reports RTE.

Ms Buzyn did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

France is “the only country in the world” where radical procedural laws have made it possible to locate and prosecute a government minister amid a global health crisis, Buzyn said in a recent interview.

Government critics said preparations to deal with the health crisis had been inadequate.

Many had filed legal complaints, which ultimately sparked an investigation into Ms Buzyn.

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