In China, where 80% of the population has been infected, there is little chance of a significant COVID-19 comeback over the next two to three months, according to a well-known government scientist.
According to Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a second COVID wave is not likely to occur in the near future despite the fact that the pandemic may spread due to the widespread movement of people during the current Lunar New Year holiday period, boosting infections in some areas.
Hundreds of millions of Chinese are travelling across the country for holiday reunions that had been suspended under recently eased COVID curbs, raising fears of fresh outbreaks in rural areas less equipped to manage large outbreaks.
China has passed the peak of COVID patients in fever clinics, emergency rooms and 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, roughly a month after China abruptly dismantled its zero-COVID policy, according to government data.
But some experts said that figure probably vastly undercounts the full impact, as it excludes those who die at home, and because many doctors have said they are discouraged from citing COVID as a cause of death.