Authorities in the country’s most populous city, Shanghai, have urged residents to stay indoors on Christmas Day as the outbreak of the coronavirus in China escalates. Recently, after the relaxation of corona restrictions in the country, the detection rate has increased on a large scale.

Reuters reported that a branch of the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission on Saturday urged young people, especially young people, to avoid crowds due to the ease of spreading the coronavirus and low temperatures.

Although Christmas is not traditionally celebrated in China, young couples and residents flock to spend the holiday with family on this day.

The Omicron variant is proliferating weeks after authorities abruptly backed away from their zero-tolerance policy. China recently lifted strict testing requirements and travel restrictions.

Although many welcomed the simplification, they were unprepared for the increase in infections resulting from household and health system infections. Hospitals have run out of beds and blood, pharmacies for drugs and authorities are desperately trying to build clinics.

Shanghai usually hosts Christmas-themed markets in a luxury shopping area along Nanjing West Road, and restaurant retailers offer promotions to drum up business.

But this year’s celebration is fading because of Omicron.

Airfinity, a British-based health data firm, said this week that infections in China are likely to exceed one million a day and deaths may exceed 5,000 a day, “in stark contrast” to official data.

China’s National Health Authority reported 4,128 daily symptomatic Covid-19 infections on Saturday and reported no deaths for the fourth day in a row.

Last week, citing estimates from top government health officials, Bloomberg News reported that as many as 370,000 people in China could be infected with the virus in one day.

The emergency hotline in Taiyuan, in the northern province of Shanxi, receives more than 4,000 calls a day, local media reported Saturday.

Taiwan authorities urged residents to call the number only for medical emergencies, saying guidance on Covid “does not fall within the hotline’s scope.”

A health official in Qingdao said on Friday that the port city is seeing about 500,000 infections a day.

Corona virus emerged from Wuhan city three years ago. Media reported on Friday that the city had only 4,000 units in local blood reserves, enough to last for two days. The storage called on people to donate blood freely.

(Dhaka Times / 24 December / SAT)