CHINA’S ‘thermonuclear’ Covid hell should be seen as a warning to the United States, says an expert as she warned of vaccine fatigue.
The eastern country is currently battling a wave of rising Covid cases as concerns grow that China may be hiding the true toll of the virus.
According to one estimate, Covid could spread rapidly to 800 million cases in 90 days after the zero-Covid hard lockdown policy was abandoned.
dr Wafaa El Sadr, director of ICAP and professor of epidemiology and medicine at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, warned of China’s surge in Covid cases in an exclusive interview with The US Sun.
“Not only the US but the whole world should be quite concerned about what is happening in China.
“I don’t know if we know exactly what’s happening in China,” El Sadr said.
Washington is closely monitoring rising infection rates in China as China eases its zero-Covid policy, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said in a call with reporters on Tuesday.
“When it comes to the current outbreak in China, we want that to be addressed,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a briefing on Monday.
“We know that whenever the virus spreads in the wild, it has the potential to mutate and threaten people everywhere.”
“Given the size of China’s GDP, the toll the virus is taking on the rest of the world is worrying,” he said.
“It’s not only good for China to be in a stronger position against Covid, but also for the rest of the world.”
While many other countries are easing restrictions imposed during the height of the coronavirus outbreak, El Sadr believes this pandemic is far from over.
“We are far away [from being able to say the pandemic is over],” She said.
“I believe that we will not eradicate or eliminate Covid-19. It will be with us for a long time,” added El Sadr.
El Sadr also warned that the virus could mutate and leave people vulnerable, even with the protective measures we have put in place against Covid.
“All of this could be turned on its head if somehow a strain emerges that is completely different from the other variants that are out there and is more transmissible and deadly, and our vaccines don’t work that well against it, so the tools we have at risk,” she said.
“We are seeing subvariants of existing variants, which is obviously not a good thing, but it means some of our vaccines are quite effective and our antivirals are still effective. That’s reassuring.
“That doesn’t mean that a whole new variant that has no relation to the previous variants might never emerge. I hope it’s a remote possibility, but no one can say for sure,” El Sadr warned.
El Sadr asserted that we are in a “very different place than we were in early 2020.
“So many people had Covid-19 protection from the previous infection, and many have been vaccinated and boosted, so I think it’s unlikely that we will end up in a situation similar to what we were in 2020.”
She added that “the calculus is so different from 2020. I think it’s unlikely we’ll have a situation where we have to go into lockdown.”
El Sadr pointed out that the spread of Covid, RSV and influenza is “a real problem”.
“During the holidays there is a lot of travel and a mixing of different population groups. Try to remind people that you are up to date with their COVID vaccines and booster shots.
“Recommend people to wear a mask in large gatherings. KN95 mask. Surgical masks are not as good but can provide protection.
“We have a lot of tools in our toolbox, but we really need to make it clear to people that this is the time to try and use all the tools that are available to us.”
Pictures have recently been released showing the severity of the Covid outbreak in China.
Vehicles were seen in video queuing outside a Beijing crematorium that is reportedly overwhelmed with a 20-day backlog as the outbreak devastates China.
Other footage claims to show bodies in yellow body bags filling the floor of a funeral home.
Another shows corpses stacked on shelves and boxes in a hospital storage room as space was running out amid mounting deaths.
Epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding shared footage of the outbreak and said the situation is now “thermonuclear bad”.
dr Feigl-Ding is the head of the Covid Task Force at the New England Complex Systems Institute and one of the first scientists to warn about the spread of Covid when he was working at Harvard.
He cited predictions from China’s own health authorities that 60 percent of China’s 1.4 billion people could become infected.
El Sadr is “very concerned” about vaccine fatigue in the US.
However, she is optimistic that vaccinations could increase due to the rise in cases.
El Sadr said that there is a “very small proportion of people who are vehemently opposed to vaccination and always have been – even before Covid.
“Some people think what’s the value of the vaccine if he had it and then caught Covid.”
She added: “Some people have lost faith in the vaccines because they thought the vaccine would protect them from getting Covid rather than preventing them from getting very ill.
El Sadr also confirmed the “feeling that people are so desperate to get back to what they call normality and for all of these reasons, they feel like getting the new refresher is no longer crucial.
However, she warns of a surge in Covid cases.
El Sadr “expects cases to increase — usually a week after such events.
“We don’t have a good sense of the number of cases based on home testing,” she said.
She said it was important to “keep more of an eye on what’s happening in Covid hospitalizations”.
“The increase in hospital admissions depends on where we see an increase.
Luckily for vaccinations [we are] less likely to see an increase” and the drug used to treat Covid “Paxlovid is widely used,” she added.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6960021/china-increase-covid-cases-united-states-vaccine-fatigue/ China’s ‘thermonuclear’ Covid hell should serve as a warning to US pundit as they warn of ‘vaccine fatigue’