COVID-19 ranks as most prevalent virus in Beijing for four weeks: CDC report
Published: May 25, 2023 02:42 PM
Fever Clinic of Peking University International Hospital Photo: VCG

Fever Clinic of Peking University International Hospital Photo: VCG

COVID-19 infections have ranked as the most prevalent virus in Beijing for four weeks after overtaking the city's influenza cases in late April, according to the COVID-19 weekly reports released by the Beijing Center for Disease Prevention and Control on Wednesday.

According to the Beijing Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the number of cases involving 16 kinds of notifiable infectious diseases across Beijing has risen to 25,544 from May 15 to May 21, a four-fold increase compared with the number from April 24 to April 30. Respiratory infectious diseases accounted for 96.5 percent of the 25,544 cases.

The Health Times affiliated to People's Daily reported that Beijing's influenza cases had topped COVID-19 ones since February 6, but were then overtaken by COVID-19 infections from April 24. Influenza cases were overtaken by infectious diarrhea ones and have dropped to the third place from May 15 to May 21.

China's top respiratory disease expert Zhong Nanshan said on Monday at the 2023 Greater Bay Area Science Forum that a new COVID-19 infection wave in 2023 will likely peak in late June at about 65 million cases per week.

According to Zhong, a small wave of COVID-19 infections at the end of April and early May was "anticipated." Projections showed that a small peak of infections is likely at the end of May, with the number of infections peaking at about 40 million per week. By the end of June, the epidemic is expected to peak at about 65 million infections a week.

Experts warned earlier in May that the more times an individual is infected with COVID-19, the higher the risk of sequelae occurring. Gao Fu, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) said the long-lasting effects of COVID-19 infections are a basic fact and people have no need to be shy away from it.

Lu Hongzhou, head of the Third People's Hospital of Shenzhen, said that another major COVID-19 epidemic is "unlikely" to occur in China this year, but the individual infections will continue, stressing the current top priority of developing vaccines against XBB strain as soon as possible, especially for the elderly and tumor patients soon.

China has approved two COVID-19 vaccines to counter the country's current dominant XBB variant and the new vaccines will soon be released to the market, Zhong revealed on Monday at the forum. 

He said that three or four more will likely be approved soon. "On developing more effective vaccines, we are running ahead of other countries."