A top Chinese health official says he believes China is experiencing the first of three expected waves of Covid infections this winter, APA reports citing BBC.
The country is seeing a surge in cases since lifting its most severe restrictions earlier this month.
The latest official figures appear to show a relatively low number of new daily cases.
However, there are concerns that these numbers are underestimated due to a recent reduction in Covid testing.
The government reported only 2,097 new daily cases on Sunday.
Epidemiologist Wu Zunyou has said he believes the current spike in infections would run until mid-January, while the second wave would then be triggered by mass travel in January around the week-long Lunar New Year celebrations which begin on 21 January. Millions of people usually travel at this time to spend the holiday with family.
The third surge in cases would run from late February to mid-March as people return to work after the holiday, Dr. Wu said.
He told a conference on Saturday that current vaccination levels offered a certain level of protection against the surges and had resulted in a drop in the number of severe cases.
Overall, China says more than 90% of its population has been fully vaccinated. However, less than half of people aged 80 and over have received three doses of the vaccine. Elderly people are more likely to suffer severe Covid symptoms.