By the end of January, 90% of Beijing’s population will have had the covid and there will be no second waves

More than 90 percent of Beijing's 22 million population will have been infected with the coronavirus by the end of this month, according to an estimate by University of Hong Kong researchers reported by the SCMP .
About 76 percent of people in Beijing had contracted Covid-19 as of Dec. 22 and it was expected to reach 92 percent by Jan. 31, according to the HKU study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Medicine on Jan. 13.
For the study, the researchers tracked the reproduction rate of Omicron's BF.7 variant in Beijing during November and December, after China first eased and then abruptly abandoned its tough zero-COVID strategy that had been in place for nearly three years.

On November 11, authorities unveiled 20 measures to streamline pandemic control, including restricting the scope of testing, reducing the quarantine period for inbound travelers, and simplifying risk classification from three levels to two. .
Mass testing, lockdowns and centralized quarantine were lifted on December 7, allowing people with no or mild symptoms to self-isolate at home.
Since the policy changes there has been a surge in cases across the country. The study estimates that the reproduction rate jumped from 1.04 on Nov. 11 to 3.44 the following week, meaning one person with the virus could infect 3.44 others.
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The authors said that since regular mass testing was suspended in late November, it was difficult to assess transmission dynamics based on the daily infections reported by health authorities. For this reason, they instead used a transmission model with real-time mobility statistics collected from the Beijing subway and online survey data in the evaluations.
They estimated that on Nov. 30, when regular mass testing was suspended, the number of daily cases in Beijing was around 94,000. Their modeling showed an estimated peak of 1.03 million daily cases in December.

According to the researchers, other major cities in mainland China are likely to mirror Beijing's situation. More infection spikes were expected, mainly because people moved more after the first spike, especially coinciding with the Chinese Lunar New Year when families get together.

If these data were confirmed, China would have solved its Covid problem in a very dry way in just over two months, after years of very harsh lockdown. An expensive solution, but probably the only one for the eastern country.

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The article By the end of January 90% of Beijing's population will have had the covid and there will be no second waves comes from Economic Scenarios .

This is a machine translation of a post published on Scenari Economici at the URL on Tue, 24 Jan 2023 10:00:20 +0000.