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China reports first new Covid-19 deaths in weeks as health expert warns of possible three winter waves

China has reported its first Covid-19 deaths in weeks as a spike in cases ahead of winter raises alarm for health experts.

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According to reports, China has not reported any Covid-19 deaths since 7 December, when it ended most restrictions key to a zero-Covid tolerance policy following public protests.

The strategy had been championed by President Xi Jinping.

Hong Kong health authorities reported a total of 15,383 new Covid-19 cases on Monday as another 39 infected people died in the city, China Daily Hong Kong reported.

A top Chinese health official says he believes China is experiencing the first of three expected waves of Covid-19 infections this winter.

Chinese epidemiologist Wu Zunyou has said he believes the current spike in infections would run until mid-January, while the second wave would then be triggered by mass travel in January around the week-long Lunar New Year celebrations which begin on 21 January, citing reports by BBC news.

The country is seeing a surge in cases since the lifting of its most severe restrictions earlier this month.

According to China Briefing, pharmaceutical manufacturers in China are speeding up the production of drugs that can ease Covid symptoms to ease the market shortage.

China fully resumed road passenger services as per a circular released by China’s Ministry of Transport as of 18 December, 2022, while more than 10,000 cinemas had resumed operation, with a national operating rate of 82.86 percent.

China has shifted the focus of its Covid-19 response strategy from infection control to case treatment with the objective of preventing severe cases, as reported by Xinhua news.

According to the World Health Organisation, from 3 January 2020 to 19 December 2022, there have been 10,072,004 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with 31,309 deaths, reported to WHO.

As of 28 November 2022, a total of 3,465,113,661 vaccine doses have been administered, said the global health authority.

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