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Deadly wave of coronavirus in China – podcast | News

In early December, as protests grew and the coronavirus spread, China abruptly abandoned its zero Covid policy, effectively letting the virus pass through its population of 1.4 billion.

As Tania Branigan recount Michael Safi the effects were extraordinary: in a country poorly vaccinated and with a limited number of intensive care beds, especially far from the big cities, it was devastating.

Over the weekend, authorities admitted that at least 60,000 people had died in hospitals during the current wave so far, but experts believe the true number of total deaths is likely much higher.

Now the country is gearing up for Lunar New Year celebrations which officially begin on January 21 and involve the largest annual migration of people in the world. Around 2 billion journeys are expected to be made and tens of millions of people have started traveling – despite being urged not to visit elderly relatives, to prevent them from becoming infected.

Patients receive intravenous drip treatment at a hospital in China amid the coronavirus pandemic

Photograph: Reuters

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