Official estimates suggest that there are 4,000 new cases of COVID-19 per day though scientists believe it is more likely to be one million. Equally, the death tolls given by officials are thought to be unreliable which is concerning nations across the world as China loosens its restrictions.
Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee said in December: “The central government has agreed to fully reopen the borders in a gradual and orderly manner.”
A number of countries including the United States, India and Japan have implemented stringent checks on flights from China while the UK has also enforced travellers from China to England to show a pre-departure negative test.
The UK Health Security Agency have also stated that they will begin monitoring passengers form China for new variants.
Data has shown that 18 percent of the population of China, or 250 million people were infected with the virus in the first 20 days of December.
At the beginning of December, Beijing suddenly dismantled austere restrictions which it had kept in force for nearly three years.
On December 20 alone, 37 million people were infected, according to estimations from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
Sun Yang, deputy director of the Chinese CDC, said that the rate of the spread in the country is increasing and has infected over half of the population in Beijing and Sichuan.
In December, Beijing abandoned its zero-Covid policy which saw mass testing, strict quarantine laws and draconian lockdown measures.
READ MORE: Rail strike support wanes as earnings exceed nurses and public
She wrote in The Guardian: “China is getting hit badly. With a government intent on protecting its reputation and spinning official political narratives rather than providing transparency, it’s been hard to get a sense of what is happening there.”
Data from the health chief of Qingdao, a city in the eastern Shandong province with a population of about 10 million people, shows that there are currently “between 490,000 and 530,000” new cases per day.
The reports of Bo Tao’s comments first noted in a Communist Party news outlet was edited to remove the case figures.
The World Health Organisation has said that the current “explosion” of cases is not due to the sudden abandonment of zero-Covid but that the spread was impossible to prevent.