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No Mutation Yet; Threat Lingers: Epidemiologist China

BEIJING: China has not reported any new mutations in the six weeks since the virus was unleashed as it dismantled covid curbs. Even as countries put their best foot forward, experts predict for sure that a new variant of COVID-19 will emerge from China which let down its guard against the virus that kept it at bay for a long time.

Infections are expected to surge in rural areas as hundreds of millions travel to their hometowns, a top Chinese epidemiologist said as the Lunar New Year holidays, which officially start from Jan. 21, known before the pandemic as the world’s largest annual migration of people. According to a top Chinese epidemiologist, the peak of China’s COVID-19 wave is expected to last two to three months, and will soon swell over the vast countryside where medical resources are relatively scarce.

As per the latest data, some 9 million people in China are infected by the virus in the new wave of infections. The reports estimate that 64 percent of the country’s population has the virus, a media house said.

Satellite images revealed that Chinese cities are overcrowded and new parking lots at crematoriums and funeral homes. Images taken by Maxar Technologies in late December and early January show a funeral home on the outskirts of Beijing, which appears to have constructed a brand-new parking area, as well as lines of vehicles waiting outside of funeral homes in Kunming, Nanjing, Chengdu, Tangshan, and Huzhou.

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