Nation's new COVID cases, deaths down significantly

COVID-19 infections are on a sharp downtrend nationwide after cases peaked around Dec 22, when the number of new cases was around 7 million per day, and the number of deaths

in hospitals has also declined significantly, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday.

According to a CDC report on the national epidemic situation, since Dec 9 — the day after the Chinese mainland optimized its COVID-19 prevention measures — the number of positive nucleic acid test results and the positive rate in the reported population showed a trend nationwide of first increasing and then decreasing.

The number of positive cases reached 6.94 million on Dec 22 and then gradually decreased, reaching a low on Monday of 15,000. The positive test rate reached its peak on Dec 25 — 29.2 percent — and then gradually declined, dropping to 5.5 percent on Monday.

The number of deaths from COVID-19 infections in hospitals nationwide reached a daily peak of 4,273 on Jan 4 and then declined,falling to 896 on Monday, a drop of 79 percent from the peak, the center said.

The number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 nationwide reached a peak of 1.63 million on Jan 5 and then began to decline,falling to 248,000 on Monday.Among them, the number of critically ill patients had increased by nearly 10,000 per day from Dec 27 to Jan 3, and then fell to 36,000 on Monday.

The number of visits to fever clinics across the Chinese mainland started to decline after reaching a peak of 2.87 million on Dec 23. The number fell to 110,000 on Monday, a 96.2 percent drop from the peak.

In rural areas, the peak stood at 922,000 on Dec 23 and then fluctuated downward, falling to 50,000 on Monday, a drop of 94.6 percent from the peak.

To strengthen the monitoring of the virus, since Dec 9, a total of 824 sentinel hospitals that have established an influenza surveillance network, as well as 402 national-level network laboratories, have conducted COVID-19 surveillance, the report said.

Regarding vaccination, as of Friday, a total of 3.49 billion doses have been administered.