Hong Kong announces planned border reopening with China as Omicron Surge on Christmas

Hong Kong announces planned border reopening with China as Omicron Surge on Christmas

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Doubts about official data

British-based health data firm Airfinity this week described the estimates as “the exact opposite” of official figures, saying infections in China were likely to exceed a million a day, with more than 5,000 deaths per day.

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

Nearly 37 million people may have been infected with COVID in a single day last week, Bloomberg News reported on Friday, citing estimates from the government’s top health authority. Officials did not comment on the report.

A local media organization said on Saturday that the emergency hotline in Taiyuan, in the northern province of Shanxi, was receiving more than 4,000 calls a day.

Taiyuan officials urged residents to call the number only for medical emergencies, saying that guidance about COVID “does not fall within the hotline’s scope.”

A health official in Qingdao said the port city is seeing about 500,000 daily infections, media reported on Friday. Local officials told domestic media that in the southern city of Dongguan, a major manufacturing hub, daily infections are reaching 250,000-300,000.

The surge has strained the medical sector, especially blood stores, with a shortage of donors depleting the stock.

China’s National Health Commission said in a statement on Saturday that people who had mild or moderate symptoms of COVID-19 could safely donate blood a few days after their symptoms subsided.

In Wuhan, the central city where COVID emerged three years ago, media reported on Friday that the local blood stockpile had just 4,000 units, enough to last two days. The repository called on people to “roll up their sleeves and donate blood”.

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