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Earlier this year, people watched on in horror as China suddenly became stuck firmly in the grip of the then-unknown COVID-19 virus after it broke out in the Wuhan region. But a combination of strict lockdowns, mass testing and public compliance has led to a remarkable drop in cases – with the Asian country being close to eliminating the virus altogether.
China has managed to largely contain the virus so far, beating predicted levels of infection and saving countless lives.
China has had 85,322 reported cases and 4,634 deaths since it broke out in Wuhan in January.
Earlier this year, China was grappling with cases of COVID-19 in all regions as the virus suddenly appeared.
Some 760 million people were subject to some form of lockdown restrictions throughout the pandemic.
Will China have a second wave?
China has now gone a month without another domestic infection, so it is faring better than a lot of places in Europe which are seeing huge spikes and lockdown restrictions being put back in place.
Imported cases are on the rise – with one city on the border with Myanmar currently under lockdown.
China currently seems to be out of the grip of coronavirus, but a leading disease control expert has warned an outbreak in the Asian country is ‘inevitable’.
Dr Zhang Wenhong led Shangai’s fight against the first wave of COVID-19 back in January.
Speaking at a forum last week, he predicted it could take the world ‘at least a year’ to reopen properly again as vaccines will take time to produce.
Dr Wenhong said: “Europe is already having a second wave. A second wave [in China] is inevitable.
Today the British Prime Minister said the UK will definitely have a second wave because he is already seeing it, adding: “France has been in the second wave for half of a month.
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“The second wave in Spain has also been over half of a month.
“Under this circumstance, China is still facing the threat of imported case.”
He said officials had been carrying out checks across the country to ensure provisions and measures were in place to handle any outbreaks.
On the vaccine front, he also suggested vaccines being developed within the country could be available to the public as early as November 2020.
Why is China not having a second wave?
China has four coronavirus vaccines in the final stage of clinical trials.
Essential workers have already been offered the vaccination as part of an emergency programme.
Wu Guizhen, CDC chief biosafety expert said in an interview with state broadcaster that phase 3 clinical trials for the country’s vaccine candidates were proceeding smoothly, and Chinese citizens could receive the shots in November or December.
In May, Xi Chen, as associate professor of Public Health at the University of Yale published a study explaining how China’s prompt and clear cut action resulted in the avoidance of what was predicted to be be 1.4 million infections.
Worldwide infections of COVID-19 now stand at over 30 million infected since the start of the pandemic, with the death toll creeping up to one million.
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