Xi urges steps to 'protect' lives as China battles Covid wave

December 26, 2022

Studies have estimated that around one million people could die over the next few months. "At present, Covid-19 prevention and control in China are facing a new situation and new tasks," Xi said in a directive, according to state broadcaster CCTV. "We should launch the patriotic health campaign in a more targeted way... fortify a community line of defence for epidemic prevention and control, and effectively protect people's lives, safety and health," Xi said. A poll of over 150,000 residents of the southwestern province of Sichuan organised by disease control officials showed that 63 percent had tested positive for Covid, and estimated that infections peaked Friday. Only six Covid deaths have been officially reported since Beijing unwound most of its restrictions earlier this month.