Hong Kong, Jan 24 (IANS): Around 92 per cent of the population in the Chinese capital of Beijing will have Covid by January 31, a new study published in peer-reviewed journal Nature Medicine has revealed.
Nearly 76 per cent of people in Beijing had contracted Covid-19 as of December 22.
It was expected to reach 92 per cent by January 31, according to researchers from the University of Hong Kong, reports South China Morning Post.
For the study, the researchers tracked the reproduction rate of Omicron variant BF.7 in Beijing in November and December, after China eased its zero-Covid policy.
There was a surge in cases across the country after the policy changes.
The study estimated that the reproduction rate jumped from 1.04 on November 11 to 3.44 a week later - meaning that "one person with the virus could infect 3.44 others".
Their modelling had shown an estimated peak of 1.03 million daily cases on December 11.
"Surveillance programmes should be rapidly set up to monitor the spread and evolution of Sars-CoV-2 infections, and further work should be done to track the transmissibility, incidence and infection rate of the epidemic," the researchers wrote.
The number of people with severe Covid-19 infections had peaked on January 5.
The country reported about 13,000 Covid-related deaths in hospitals between January 13 and 19.
China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said last week that 681 hospitalised patients died of respiratory failure, and 11,977 died of other diseases combined with a Covid infection.