Around December 22, 2022, the number of COVID-19 infections and visits to fever clinics across China reached their peak with new infections surpassing 7 million and visits to fever clinics reaching 2.87 million on a daily basis, and the number of deaths reached a daily peak of 4,273 on January 4, according to a latest report from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China’s CDC).
The peak of severe illness reached nearly 10,000 cases during its highest period, the report said.
Since China further optimized its COVID-19 response on December 8, 2022, the country has stopped mandatory mass nucleic acid testing and the overall testing volume has gradually declined from 150 million per day on December 9 to 7.54 million on January 1 and to the lowest point of 280,000 on January 23, according to the report.
Based on the reported positive cases through mass testing, the number of infections reached the peak on December 22 with 6.94 million, and dropped to the lowest point of 15,000 on January 23, the report said.
Meanwhile, some provinces have established a collection mechanism for antigen test results to report positive cases since December 2022. On December 19, 2022, the reported numbers reached the peak of 1.89 million, which further declined to the lowest point on January 23 with reported 105,000 cases.
Overall visits to the fever clinics nationwide reached a peak of 2.87 million on December 23, 2022 and dropped to 63,000 on January 23, according to the report. Those visits to fever clinics in rural areas reached the peak on December 23, 2022 with 922,000, which declined 94.6 percent from the peak to 50,000 on January 23.
Officials from the National Health Commission said on January 19 that the country has passed three peaks of COVID waves, as the number of fever clinic visits nationwide peaked on December 23, 2022, the national number of emergency department visits peaked on January 2, and the number of patients in severe conditions in hospitals peaked on January 5.
The number of COVID patients in hospitals reached a peak of 1.63 million on January 5, which has been gradually decreasing since then, and from December 27, 2022 to January 3, cases of severe illness in hospitals increased by about 10,000 every day to reach the peak at 128,000 on January 5.
Deaths in hospitals reached their daily peak of 4,273 on January 4, which has been continuously declining, the report said. On January 23, the number dropped to 896, declining 79 percent from the peak.
In terms of surveillance and monitoring of the coronavirus mutations, the CDC report said from selecting hospitals, severe cases, death cases while also monitoring people entering China through land, water and air, the results showed that BA.5.2 and BF.7 are still the dominant variants in the country without finding new mutant strains.