Beijing: Amid the surge in COVID-19 cases and economic crisis in the country, China is stuck in a dilemma as the imposition of the zero-Covid policy is saving people's lives but at the same time, impacting its economy, effectively putting the second largest economy in a "double whammy," Inside Over reported.

According to the news report, there are predictions that China is expected to witness more than a million COVID-related death in the coming days. At the same time, the Chinese government is struggling to impose restrictions due to its negative effect on the country's economy. According to analysts, China's economic growth will fall to 2.8-3.2 percent this year, which would be the lowest in 50 years.

For the first time, China officially announced COVID-related deaths in recent weeks. As per the news report, crematoriums are busy and dead bodies covered in yellow bags are witnessed lying on the floor, according to Inside Over. Medical workers are getting infected with COVID-19 which is resulting in the disruption of emergency services.

The Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) has projected more than a million deaths in 2023 while a third of China's population is expected to get infected with COVID-19 by April 1. The Chinese government has raised alarm over three waves of COVID-19 cases in the coming months.

Wu Zunyou, the chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, has announced that there are likely to be three successive waves of COVID-19 until March 2023, according to the news report. "We cremated 150 bodies [in a day], many times more than a typical day last winter," Inside Over quoted an employee at Beijing Dongjiao Funeral Home as saying.

A few weeks ago, different parts of China witnessed protests over the failure of the zero-COVID policy. During the protests, people raised concerns over "inhumane conditions" during quarantines and over the losses of livelihood. The protesters also made calls to overthrow Chinese President Xi Jinping and his government, as per the news report.

China's zero-COVID policy seems to have failed on controlling the spread of COVID-19. However, it caused a severe blow to China's economy. Notably, China has been adhering to strict restrictions to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Beijing authorities have been imposing lockdowns, travel restrictions, and conducting mass testing.

The report said it's a "double whammy for China" because if Beijing "reimposes the Zero Covid policy to contain damages by upcoming Covid waves, there will be a huge impact on its economy. If not, people's lives will be in danger."

As per the Inside Over news report, China's retail sale reduced by 5.9 percent in November year-on-year. Furthermore, industrial output and fixed asset investment have reduced to 2.2 percent and 5.3 percent respectively. The sudden shutdown of factories and small businesses resulted in huge livelihood losses.

The unemployment rate in China has reached 5.7 percent while it rose to 17.1 percent for young people aged between 16 to 24, according to the news report. Despite the rise in unemployment, the Chinese government continued with strict restrictions. However, the authorities eased some COVID-19 restrictions after the people held protests across the country.

Earlier, analysts had said that China's zero-COVID policy was affecting its economy and jobs as the restrictions caused a reduction in demand. Alicia Garcia-Herrero, chief economist of Asia-Pacific at Natixis, said, "I am expecting a big collapse in industrial production," Inside Over reported. A report by the World Economics Sales Managers Survey has said that China might be heading for a recession in 2023.