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Chinese State Media Aims to Dispel Panic Amid COVID Outbreak - medtigo

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Chinese State Media Aims to Dispel Panic Amid COVID Outbreak

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As per US News, Chinese authorities and state media sought to reassure the public that the COVID-19 outbreak sweeping the nation was under control and nearing its peak as thousands of Chinese citizens took to the streets to celebrate the New Year.  

Even though many people in major cities have continued to segregate themselves as the virus spreads across the population, it looked that New Year’s celebrations were largely untouched as people celebrated the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023.  

At least among the young and healthy, in Wuhan, where the coronavirus was initially found at the end of 2019, citizens’ concerns about the impact of loosening tight zero-COVID rules have subsided. A 29-year-old tutor with the surname Wu stated, “Currently, my buddies and I feel quite good and upbeat.” “Many individuals are out and about.”  

“We all know that this virus will primarily attack middle-aged and older people, particularly those over 60 years old and those with underlying conditions,” he stated. At the emergency room of Wuhan’s Tongji Hospital, a key facility for COVID-19 patients, there was a long line of people, including Huang, a 72-year-old resident who wished to be recognized only by her surname.  

“I don’t feel well. I have no energy. I am unable to breathe. I was previously in good health. I received x-rays of my lungs… This hospital is quite inconvenient, with lengthy wait times.” She stated. China’s rapid U-turn on COVID regulations, as well as the veracity of its case and fatality data, have been subjected to heightened scrutiny both domestically and internationally.  

In his first public comments since the change in policy, President Xi Jinping urged more effort and unity as China enters a “new chapter” in his New Year’s address. The increase in cases has sparked additional concerns about the health of the economy.  

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said on Sunday that China reported one new COVID-19 fatality on the mainland on December 31, the same as the day before.  

China’s current official death toll of 5,249 is far lower than that of other major nations. The administration has denied allegations that it underreported the total number of fatalities on purpose. On Sunday, a steady stream of mourners and hearse drivers was arriving at the Hankou funeral home on the outskirts of Wuhan.  

Staff at the strongly guarded entrance to the site refused to discuss their recent workloads. However, funeral establishments in other Chinese cities, like Chengdu and Beijing, reported being busier than ever since China abruptly abandoned COVID restrictions last month.  

The China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 5,138 official verified cases on Saturday, but since mass testing is no longer being conducted, experts believe the true number of illnesses is substantially higher. State media in the southeastern Chinese city of Guangzhou reported on Sunday that daily cases recently peaked at approximately 60,000 and now stood at 19,000.  

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Authorities have been attempting to convince the public that the issue is under control. On Sunday, the state-run news agency Xinhua published an editorial describing the current tactic as “a planned, science-based approach” that reflects the virus’s evolving nature.  

Separately, Xinhua reported that production of pain killer’s ibuprofen and paracetamol has increased to 190 million pills per day, which is five times greater than at the beginning of December. The production of antigen test kits each day has nearly doubled in a month, reaching 110 million.  

Australia and Canada followed the United States and others on Sunday in asking Chinese travelers to present negative COVID-19 tests upon arrival. Morocco will prohibit Chinese arrivals, according to its foreign ministry.  

Concerned that China is not releasing enough information about the nature and scope of the current outbreak, Australian Health Minister Mark Butler stated that extra steps would be examined. Sunday, Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, promised China the “necessary support” to combat the increase of COVID-19 instances.

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