As health workers nationwide battle a surge in cases, a senior doctor at one of Shanghai’s top hospitals said 70 percent of the megacity’s population may now have been infected with COVID-19

Chen Erzhen, vice president at Ruijin Hospital and a member of Shanghai’s COVID expert advisory panel, estimated that the majority of the city’s 25 million people may have been infected.

“Now the spread of the epidemic in Shanghai is very wide, and it may have reached 70 percent of the population, which is 20 to 30 times more than [in April and May],” he told Jiangdong Studio

In other major cities, including Beijing, Tianjin, Chongqing and Guangzhou, Chinese health officials have suggested that the wave has already peaked.

Concerns have also been raised about the near-term growth prospects in the world’s second-largest economy, causing volatility in global financial markets.

Last month, shipments from Foxconn’s Zhengzhou iPhone plant, disrupted by worker departures and unrest amid a COVID outbreak, were 90 percent of the firm’s initial plans.

A “bushfire” of infections in China in coming months is likely to hurt its economy this year and drag global growth lower, said the head of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva.