China warns of 2nd wave, organ damage
BEIJING: China faces a potential second wave of coronavirus infections due to a lack of immunity among its population, the government’s senior medical advisor has warned.
“The majority of... Chinese at the moment are still susceptible of the Covid-19 infection, because (of) a lack of immunity,” Zhong Nanshan, the public face of government’s response to the pandemic, told CNN.
“We are facing (a) big challenge,” Zhong added. “It’s not better than the foreign countries I think at the moment.”
Zhong also said authorities in ground zero Wuhan had underreported cases during the early days of the pandemic.
“The local authorities, they didn’t like to tell the truth at that time,” said Zhong, who was part of a team of experts sent to Wuhan to investigate the outbreak.
“I didn’t believe that result (the number of cases reported) so I (kept) asking and then, you have to give me the real number.”
But he added he believed data published after Wuhan was locked down in late January, and when the central government took control of the response, “will be correct”.
China’s health authority has officially included damage to a number of internal organs as among the potential effects of the novel coronavirus.
China’s National Health Commission (NHC) in its guidelines on Covid-19 survivors said some recovered patients would require treatment for lung and heart damage, for movement problems from muscle loss, as well as for psychological disorders.
In addition to informing health workers about the potential longterm treatment needs of the patients, the authorities have classified these conditions as chronic diseases, allowing residents to claim for medical expenses under government-run medical insurance schemes.
Meanwhile, the city of Wuhan, where the outbreak originated in China late last year, conducted 222,675 nucleic acid tests on Saturday, the local health authority said, nearly doubling from a day earlier.