Coronavirus cases are “explod[ing]” in Beijing as the region is “hit with a significant, and spreading, outbreak,” CNN reports.
The surge in COVID-19 infections has severely impacted services in major cities like Beijing and Guangzhou, where reports indicate that fever clinics and hospitals are being overwhelmed by patients and that a significant number of medical staff are also becoming ill.
For the first time, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in China reported on Dec 14 that nine provinces in the country had reported a total of 49 cases of the BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 subvariants.
Dr. Li from Beijing Chaoyang Hospital stated in an early December interview that the high number of infections has led to a shortage of personnel among medical staff. “We are seriously understaffed now. Many doctors and nurses are infected, and they cannot go to work,” Li said. “The same is true in other hospitals. There are many infections and a shortage of manpower. Several departments in our hospital have closed [because of it].”
However, the rise in COVID infections comes as China boasts a 90.2% “fully” vaccinated population. 92.4% of Chinese citizens have received at least one dose of the drug. These numbers mean China has an “above world average” vaccination rate, according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine.