China sees sharp rise in coronavirus infections after easing restrictions

BEIJING, Dec. 24 (DPA/EP) –

Some 248 million people in China, 18 percent of the population, have tested positive for coronavirus in the first three weeks of December, coinciding with the relaxation of some of the restrictions.

According to the minutes of a meeting this Wednesday of the National Health Commission of China, which circulated on social networks, only on Tuesday there were 37 million people probably infected. The British newspaper ‘The Financial Times’ and the Bloomberg agency confirmed this information through sources present at that meeting.

Although the official statistics only speak of 62,000 infections throughout the country in the three weeks of December, according to the British newspaper, the estimates prepared by the deputy director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Sun Yang, show how the infections are on the rise.

More than half of the 81 million inhabitants of the Sichuan province (southwest) and the same proportion of the 21 million inhabitants of Beijing have contracted the disease, explains Sun.

These estimates take place after almost three years of confinement, quarantine and mass testing in China, whose government has sometimes been inflexible in its prevention policies.

It has recently softened some of its measures under the argument that the cases of the new omicron variant are less serious. However, this certain laxity would also be motivated by the discontent shown by the population towards these restrictions.

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