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China admits its Covid deaths are 'huge' and 70% of Shanghai's 25m residents have been infected

Chinese officials have admitted that the country’s total number of Covid-related deaths is ‘huge’, with one doctor saying as many as 70 percent of Shanghai’s 25 million residents may have been infected.

The steep rise in infections came after Beijing’s ‘zero-Covid’ hardline approach was abruptly loosened last month, quickly overwhelming hospitals and crematoriums.

Beijing also criticised other countries that now require Chinese passengers to show a negative Covid test before entering, warning it could take ‘countermeasures’ in response.

Yesterday, China’s president Xi Jinping finally admitted the mistakes of his draconian zero-Covid policy which failed to contain the virus and sparked the country’s first widespread mass protests in decades.

The premier acknowledged ‘unprecedented difficulties and challenges’ in his New Year’s Eve address to the nation and said it was ‘only natural’ that his harsh lockdown measures were met with resistance.

Xi dropped the zero-Covid measures on December 7 but his new strategy of living with the virus has caused infections to skyrocket, with infections currently peaking in Beijing.

In the first 20 days of December, the government’s top health authority estimates a staggering 248 million people – equivalent to 18 per cent of the population – contracted the virus. 

Jiao Yahui, a National Health Commission official, told state broadcaster China Central Television: ‘We have a huge base, so what people feel is that the severe cases, the critical cases or the fatalities are increasing.

Source” Content adapted from dailymail

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