COVID-19 rebound

More than 95 percent of the infections reported in China’s latest COVID-19 rebound are mild or asymptomatic, a health official said on Saturday.

More than 95 percent of the infections reported in China’s latest COVID-19 rebound are mild or asymptomatic, a health official said on Saturday.

The Omicron variant of the coronavirus is currently the dominant strain in China, Jiao Yahui, head of the Bureau of Medical Administration of the National Health Commission (NHC), said at a press conference held in Beijing.

As of Friday, there were 29,127 hospitalized cases on the Chinese mainland, but less than 0.1 percent of the patients were under severe or critical conditions, she said.

The latest COVID-19 wave is still developing, and many provinces see Omicron infections occuring in multiple areas simultaneously, said Lei Zhenglong, deputy head of the Bureau of Disease Prevention and Control of the NHC.

From March 1 to March 18, the Chinese mainland reported over 29,000 cases in 28 provinces, with more than 10,000 cases in the northeastern Jilin Province, he said.

Mi Feng, spokesperson for the NHC, cautioned against letting the guard down in the face of the still raging pandemic, and called for earlier, faster and stricter implementation of COVID-19 prevention and control measures.

China will stick to its “dynamic zero-COVID” strategy to contain the outbreak and strive to achieve the best virus containment results at minimal cost, according to the officials.

Two new deaths mainly caused by underlying diseases

Jilin Province, the most heavily-hit area in the current wave, reported two COVID-19 related deaths on Saturday, the first new deaths on the Chinese mainland in more than a year.

Both of them were senior people aged over 60 with severe underlying diseases, and one of them was not vaccinated, Jiao said, adding that their underlying diseases were the direct cause of their deaths, as they were mild COVID-19 cases.

The latest deaths brought the total number of China’s COVID-19 fatalities to 4,638 since the beginning of the pandemic.

China has accumulated rich experience in medical treatment of COVID-19 patients, and has achieved the best results in the world, Jiao said.

Nearly 1.24 billion people fully vaccinated

Nearly 1.24 billion people out of the 1.4 billion population in China have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Friday, said Mi.

More than 3.2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered on the Chinese mainland by Friday, he said.

Current research have shown that the Omicron variant cannot completely evade existing vaccines, said Zheng Zhongwei, the NHC official heading China’s COVID-19 vaccine development team.

Domestic and overseas research have shown that full course of vaccination can significantly reduce the risk of developing pneumonia and severe illness after Omicron infections, he said.

Booster doses and “sequential immunization,” which means mixing different types of vaccines to boost people’s immune system, can further lower the risk of breakthrough infections with Omicron, he added.

Source: CGTN

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