The scale of Covid-19 infections in China is now “impossible” to track. On Wednesday, the top health body of the country mentioned that officials warned of a rapid spread in Beijing after the country abruptly dropped its zero-tolerance policy.
Recently, China relaxed the restrictions for mass testing and quarantine after almost three years of attempting to stamp out the virus. This resulted in officially touching the all-time highs recorded last month.
Besides, Vice Premier Sun Chunlan highlighted that the new infections were “rapidly growing,” according to a state media readout. China’s National Health Commission confirmed that the recorded numbers no longer showcase the reality. The NHC said, “Many asymptomatic people are no longer participating in nucleic acid testing, so it is impossible to accurately grasp the actual number of asymptomatic infected people.”
Moreover, the country is facing a hike in cases, with millions of vulnerable elderly still not fully vaccinated. Many are admitted to underfunded hospitals that lack the resources to deal with an expected influx of infected patients.
While China takes a firm exit from its zero-Covid policy towards living with the virus, many people with symptoms have opted to self-medicate at home. The situation seems to worsen with time as Beijing have complained of sold-out cold medicines and long lines at pharmacies.
The desperate requirements and rising demand for rapid antigen tests and medications gave birth to an active black market with a massive price hike in China. However, the authorities have started to deal with these illegal behaviors in a more severe way. According to a local media channel in Beijing, the authorities have hit one business in Beijing with a 300,000 yuan ($43,000) fine for selling overpriced test kits.