China is predicted to see two peaks in cases as COVID-19 spreads throughout the country, the first peak in mid-January and the second in early March. 

New modelling by Airfinity has examined data from China’s regional provinces. The current outbreak is growing more rapidly in some regions than in others. Cases are currently rising much more quickly in Beijing and Guangdong.

Using the trends in regional data our team of epidemiologists has forecast the first peak to be in regions where cases are currently rising and a second peak driven by later surges in other Chinese provinces. 

The Airfinity model estimates cases rates could reach 3.7 million a day in a January peak and 4.2 million a day in March 2023. 

Today, our model suggests that there is likely to be over one million cases a day in China and over 5,000 deaths a day. This is in stark contrast to the official data which is reporting 1,800 cases and only 7 official deaths over the past week.

Airfinity’s Head of Vaccines and Epidemiology Dr Louise Blair says, “China has stopped mass testing and is not longer reporting asymptomatic cases. The combination means the official data is unlikely to be a true reflection of the outbreak being experienced across the country.

“China has also changed the way it records COVID-19 deaths to only include those who die from respiratory failure or pneumonia after testing positive. This is different to other countries that record deaths within a time frame of a positive test or where COVID-19 is recorded to have attributed to the cause of death. This change could downplay the extent of deaths seen in China.”

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