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WHO 'very concerned' as Chinese cities face blood and medicine shortages amid raging Covid outbreak | world news

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Beijing: The World Health Organization (WHO) has said it is “very concerned” about the Covid-19 situation in China as the viral outbreak spreads out of control across the country amid an ongoing shortage of fever medication and the fear of waves of infection to come in the days and weeks to come.

Many local governments in China dipped into their stockpiles of medicines, in addition to ramping up production at manufacturing units, to meet panic-fueled demand and began distributing free medicines, even handing out medicines in bulk to the public, a rarity in China.

A blood shortage has been reported across the country, according to a state media report, with local authorities urging people to donate more blood.

The blood shortage, reported in “several regions from north to south of China”, was caused by many factors including “epidemic impact”, the public tabloid, Global Times, reported on Thursday.

In the southern city of Guangzhou, for example, about 1,200 blood donors are needed every day to meet the demand for clinical blood use, according to the WG report, adding that due to the recent increase in cases of Covid-19 infection as well as cold weather, blood supplies have fallen to extremely low levels.

China reported no new Covid-19 deaths for a second consecutive day on December 21, according to a Reuters report, even as funeral home workers say demand surged last week, pushing up costs .

In the absence of official figures, statistical forecasting modules are used to calculate the possible number of infections in China.

This current wave of Covid could see the country’s daily case rate rise to 3.7 million in January, according to British scientific information and analysis company Airfinity, reported by Bloomberg on Thursday.

“There will most likely be a new wave of infections that will push the daily peak to 4.2 million in March,” the group estimated, according to the Bloomberg report.

Data from the National Health Commission (NHC), meanwhile, showed that as of Tuesday, more than 3.46 billion doses of the Covid-19 vaccine had been administered on the mainland. China, according to the official Xinhua news agency. “..over 90% of the population is fully immunized. In total, about 820 million people received a booster shot in early August,” the report said.

The WHO, meanwhile, expressed concern about the Covid-19 situation in China.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed concern during his opening remarks at a press conference in Geneva while calling on China “…to share the data and conduct the studies that we have asked for and continue to ask for”.

“As I have said many times before, all the assumptions about the origins of this pandemic remain on the table,” he said, while referring to how the “gaps in our understanding” of how the Covid-19 pandemic began “compromising our ability to prevent future pandemics”.

“At the same time, the WHO is very concerned about the developing situation in China, with the increase in cases of serious illnesses,” Tedros said, according to a statement released by the WHO.

His statements indicated that China has yet to fully inform the WHO of the spread and severity of the ongoing outbreak.

“In order to carry out a full risk assessment of the situation on the ground, WHO needs more detailed information on the severity of the disease, hospital admissions and critical care support requirements. (intensive care unit),” Tedros said.

“WHO is helping China focus its efforts on vaccinating those most at risk across the country, and we continue to offer our support for clinical care and protection of its health system,” the official said. head of WHO.