Amid the recent spurt of Covid-19 infections in countries including China, the Union Health Secretary has written to the states and Union territories. The health authorities have been asked to gear up whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to track variants through Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network.
"ln view of sudden spurt of cases being witnessed in Japan, USA, Korea, Brazil & China, it's essential to gear up whole genome sequencing of positive case samples to track variants through Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network," Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote in the letter.
China's Covid cases blast
After the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, China is experiencing a massive surge in coronavirus cases. Hospitals are completely overwhelmed in China, according to Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist and health economist.
The epidemiologist estimates that more than 60 per cent of China and 10 per cent of Earth's population are likely to be infected over the next 90 days with deaths likely in the millions.
One of Beijing's designated crematoria for COVID-19 patients has been flooded with dead bodies in recent days as the virus sweeps through the Chinese capital, offering an early hint at the human cost of the country's abrupt loosening of pandemic restrictions, reported Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
CCP is not taking COVID seriously
According to Feigl-Ding, the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) goal is to "let whoever needs to be infected, infected, and let whoever needs to die, die. Early infections, early deaths, early peak, early resumption of production."
China has reported no Covid deaths in Beijing since the authorities announced four deaths between November 19 and 23. The information office for China's cabinet, the State Council, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment sent late on Friday.
Beijing Dongjiao Crematory, on the eastern edge of the Chinese capital, has experienced a jump in requests for cremation and other funerary services, according to people who work at the compound, reported WSJ.
"Since the Covid reopening, we've been overloaded with work," said a woman who answered the phone at the crematorium on Friday, adding, "Right now, it's 24 hours a day. We can't keep up."
The woman said Dongjiao Crematory, which is operated by Beijing municipality and which the National Health Commission has designated to handle Covid-positive cases, was receiving so many bodies that it was conducting cremations in the predawn hours and in the middle of the night. "There's no other way," she said.
Roughly 200 bodies arriving at crematorium everyday
She estimated that there were roughly 200 bodies arriving each day at the crematorium, from 30 or 40 bodies on a typical day. The increased workload has taxed the crematorium staff, many of whom have become infected with the fast-spreading virus in recent days, she said.
Men who work at the compound, which in addition to a funeral hall includes a small complex of shops selling burial attire, flowers, caskets, urns and other funerary items, said the number of corpses had risen markedly in recent days, though none would offer an estimate of the magnitude of the increase, reported WSJ.
Doubling time in China may not be days anymore. Doubling time now possibly "hours" says some experts -- let that sink in. R is hard to calculate if doubling is less than 1 day because it's hard to PCR test that fast. The point is China & the world is in deep trouble, said Feigl-Ding.
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