Residents in Beijing, East China Report Spike in COVID-19 Cases, Deaths After Chinese New Year

The COVID-19 infection rate reported by CCP health authorities jumped from 6.4 percent to 21.1 percent in hospitals in less than 20 days in Beijing.Health officials in Beijing have admitted that the COVID-19 epidemic is once again on the rise after the Chinese New Year holiday (Feb. 9–17). Chinese residents in Beijing and East China reported a spike in infections and more deaths during the holiday week.The Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Feb. 22, that respiratory infectious diseases in Beijing are currently caused by both influenza and COVID-19. Influenza has shown a slight downward trend recently, while COVID-19 continues to rise. The COVID-19 positivity rate in hospitals in the past week was 21.1 percent, and the JN.1 variant is the main circulating strain causing infections.On Feb. 1, before the Chinese New Year, the COVID-19 positivity rate reported by the Beijing CDC was 6.4 percent. In about two weeks, it jumped to the higher rate. Chinese netizens posted on social media: “The outbreak is coming.”Beijing CDC’s notice also warned that after the holidays, people would return to Beijing to return to work, and primary and secondary schools would reopen. The dense population would increase the risk of transmission.The ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been concealing data about the true scale of COVID-19 in China since the pandemic started in Wuhan, Hubei Province, in late 2019. Outside China, experts have expressed skepticism of the implausibly low COVID-19 numbers reported by the CCP.The Washington Post in 2022 quoted a netizen on a Chinese social media site saying: “How come people only die in Beijing? What about the rest of the country?” The report cited models that had predicted “a wave of infections could kill more than 1 million,” where CCP health authorities were only reporting a handful of deaths, all in Beijing.Related StoriesBeijing residents who spoke with the Chinese language edition of The Epoch Times said that many people around them died during the Chinese New Year: “COVID-19 has not disappeared in China, it has been spreading.”Mr. Wang, a Beijing resident, told The Epoch Times after the Chinese New Year that the outbreak is not diminishing, but has become more severe. He said he was told by a friend who is a medical worker that frontline nurses and doctors “are not told about the real information at all [by the authorities], they are kept in the dark too.”After the CCP suddenly abandoned all COVID-19 control measures in December 2022, causing massive infections in China, the hospitals no longer conduct COVID-19 tests. The authorities attributed the continuing infections to “influenza” and “mycoplasma pneumonia.”He said he believed “this outbreak must be related to COVID-19, but the hospitals follow the orders from authorities and don’t tell patients that they have been infected with COVID-19.”Mr. Wang said that many people in his workplace had fevers for a week and were diagnosed with influenza A or B at the hospital, but they took medicine specifically to treat COVID-19. After a week, their fevers were gone, and they developed a sore throat, which he said is a typical symptom after having been infected with COVID-19.Parents with children suffering from respiratory diseases line up at a children's hospital in Chongqing, China, on Nov. 23, 2023. (CFOTO/Future Publishing via Getty Images)Mr. Wang also said that one of his friends, who was under 50 years old, developed the white lung syndrome that is typically seen in severe COVID-19 cases and died during the Chinese New Year.Ms. Ge, another Beijing citizen, told The Epoch Times that she heard from friends and relatives that several people in their 50s and 60s died suddenly during the Chinese New Year.Wenzhou City: Emergency Room Over CrowdedIn Wenzhou, a port and an important commercial city in Zhejiang province in East China, it’s reported that the outbreak spiked, with hospitals overflowing during the Chinese New Year.According to a report by “Wenzhou Metropolis Daily” on Feb. 17, data from the emergency departments of four hospitals in the city show that during the 8-day holiday about 30,000 people sought medical treatment, and a large number of patients suffered from respiratory infections.The four hospitals are the First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, the Central Hospital, the Municipal People’s Hospital, and the Municipal Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine.The First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University hospital’s emergency room saw more than 10,000 patients, of which respiratory diseases accounted for about 40 percent. The number of people visiting the emergency and outpatient departments reached three times the usual number of patients, and patients were waiting in line at the emergency and outpatient departments 24 hours a day.People queue to be tested for COVID-19 outside a hospital in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, on Dec. 16, 20

Residents in Beijing, East China Report Spike in COVID-19 Cases, Deaths After Chinese New Year

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The COVID-19 infection rate reported by CCP health authorities jumped from 6.4 percent to 21.1 percent in hospitals in less than 20 days in Beijing.

Health officials in Beijing have admitted that the COVID-19 epidemic is once again on the rise after the Chinese New Year holiday (Feb. 9–17). Chinese residents in Beijing and East China reported a spike in infections and more deaths during the holiday week.

The Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Feb. 22, that respiratory infectious diseases in Beijing are currently caused by both influenza and COVID-19. Influenza has shown a slight downward trend recently, while COVID-19 continues to rise. The COVID-19 positivity rate in hospitals in the past week was 21.1 percent, and the JN.1 variant is the main circulating strain causing infections.

On Feb. 1, before the Chinese New Year, the COVID-19 positivity rate reported by the Beijing CDC was 6.4 percent. In about two weeks, it jumped to the higher rate. Chinese netizens posted on social media: “The outbreak is coming.”

Beijing CDC’s notice also warned that after the holidays, people would return to Beijing to return to work, and primary and secondary schools would reopen. The dense population would increase the risk of transmission.

The ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been concealing data about the true scale of COVID-19 in China since the pandemic started in Wuhan, Hubei Province, in late 2019. Outside China, experts have expressed skepticism of the implausibly low COVID-19 numbers reported by the CCP.

The Washington Post in 2022 quoted a netizen on a Chinese social media site saying: “How come people only die in Beijing? What about the rest of the country?” The report cited models that had predicted “a wave of infections could kill more than 1 million,” where CCP health authorities were only reporting a handful of deaths, all in Beijing.

Beijing residents who spoke with the Chinese language edition of The Epoch Times said that many people around them died during the Chinese New Year: “COVID-19 has not disappeared in China, it has been spreading.”

Mr. Wang, a Beijing resident, told The Epoch Times after the Chinese New Year that the outbreak is not diminishing, but has become more severe. He said he was told by a friend who is a medical worker that frontline nurses and doctors “are not told about the real information at all [by the authorities], they are kept in the dark too.”

After the CCP suddenly abandoned all COVID-19 control measures in December 2022, causing massive infections in China, the hospitals no longer conduct COVID-19 tests. The authorities attributed the continuing infections to “influenza” and “mycoplasma pneumonia.”

He said he believed “this outbreak must be related to COVID-19, but the hospitals follow the orders from authorities and don’t tell patients that they have been infected with COVID-19.”

Mr. Wang said that many people in his workplace had fevers for a week and were diagnosed with influenza A or B at the hospital, but they took medicine specifically to treat COVID-19. After a week, their fevers were gone, and they developed a sore throat, which he said is a typical symptom after having been infected with COVID-19.

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Parents with children suffering from respiratory diseases line up at a children's hospital in Chongqing, China, on Nov. 23, 2023. (CFOTO/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
Parents with children suffering from respiratory diseases line up at a children's hospital in Chongqing, China, on Nov. 23, 2023. (CFOTO/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

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Mr. Wang also said that one of his friends, who was under 50 years old, developed the white lung syndrome that is typically seen in severe COVID-19 cases and died during the Chinese New Year.

Ms. Ge, another Beijing citizen, told The Epoch Times that she heard from friends and relatives that several people in their 50s and 60s died suddenly during the Chinese New Year.

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Wenzhou City: Emergency Room Over Crowded

In Wenzhou, a port and an important commercial city in Zhejiang province in East China, it’s reported that the outbreak spiked, with hospitals overflowing during the Chinese New Year.

According to a report by “Wenzhou Metropolis Daily” on Feb. 17, data from the emergency departments of four hospitals in the city show that during the 8-day holiday about 30,000 people sought medical treatment, and a large number of patients suffered from respiratory infections.

The four hospitals are the First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, the Central Hospital, the Municipal People’s Hospital, and the Municipal Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine.

The First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University hospital’s emergency room saw more than 10,000 patients, of which respiratory diseases accounted for about 40 percent. The number of people visiting the emergency and outpatient departments reached three times the usual number of patients, and patients were waiting in line at the emergency and outpatient departments 24 hours a day.

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People queue to be tested for COVID-19 outside a hospital in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, on Dec. 16, 2022. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)
People queue to be tested for COVID-19 outside a hospital in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, on Dec. 16, 2022. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

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Zhao Guangju, deputy director of the emergency department of the hospital, said that the number of patients admitted to the emergency room reached the maximum number of patients the emergency area could handle.

“All the spaces that can accommodate extra beds have been used,” he said, adding that the majority of critically ill patients in the emergency room were respiratory patients.

Some of them were transferred from lower-tier hospitals, Dr. Zhao told the media.

The report also said that the emergency department of the Municipal People’s Hospital received 600–700 adult patients every day during the holiday, and the number of pediatric emergency patients was more than 200 every day. Respiratory infections were the majority.

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Jiangsu: Funeral Homes Full

The outbreak in the adjacent Jiangsu Province also quickly worsened.

Residents in Yancheng City in Jiangsu Province revealed that the number of deaths has increased significantly, the number of funerals has doubled, and the funeral parlors are full.

Mr. Li, a resident of Yancheng, Jiangsu Province, told The Epoch Times that many people have had fever recently, and he was also infected. He continued to cough and his voice was hoarse. “I know that many people have died recently. The funeral homes are full and there is no place to put [the bodies].”

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People wait for funeral service for their deceased relatives at Baoxing Funeral Parlor in Shanghai, on Jan. 4, 2023. (Wang Gang /VCG via Getty Images)
People wait for funeral service for their deceased relatives at Baoxing Funeral Parlor in Shanghai, on Jan. 4, 2023. (Wang Gang /VCG via Getty Images)

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His friend’s mother passed away during the holiday, but they couldn’t send her body to the funeral parlor that had been arranged originally.

“I was going to pay my respects, but he said that the funeral parlor was full, and her body was sent to a funeral parlor very far away. When I went to pay my respects, I saw a lot of people attending funerals in the funeral home,” he said.

Mr. Chen, another resident of Yancheng, told The Epoch Times, “There are quite a lot of people infected with the virus, both adults and children, and they may have contracted COVID-19 again. The symptoms are like a cold. My family, my wife, and I all have symptoms, and we think it’s an infection by a mutated virus.”

“My father often hosts funerals for people in rural areas. He told me that there were more funerals than before, and his workload this winter is twice as much as before,” Mr. Chen said.

Wang He who works in education in Xuzhou City in Jiangsu Province told The Epoch Times that usually schools should start on the fifth and sixth day of the Lunar New Year. This year, the province issued an order to ban schools from reopening before Feb. 20.

Fang Xiao and Xiong Bin contributed to this report.

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