A Shanghai hospital has told its staff to prepare for a "tragic battle" with COVID-19 as it expects half of the city's 25 million people will get infected by the end of next week, while the virus sweeps through China largely unchecked.
After widespread protests and a relentless rise in cases, China this month took an abrupt shift in policies and began dismantling its "zero-COVID" regime, which has taken a great financial and psychological toll on its 1.4 billion people.
Still, China's official death count since the pandemic began three years ago stands at 5,241 - a fraction of what most other countries faced.
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