Covid has killed 60,000 people in China since covid restrictions were lifted in December.
According to China’s National Health Commission (NHC), nearly 60,000 people have died from Covid since the country abruptly abandoned its strict “zero-Covid” policy in early December.
According to Jiao Yahui, the head of the NHC’s medical affairs department, who spoke in Beijing on Saturday, January 14, China recorded 59,938 Covid-related deaths between December 8 and January 12.
5,503 died as a result of respiratory failure caused by Covid infections, and 54,435 died as a result of Covid infection as well as underlying diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Previously, China only listed Covid patients who died of respiratory failure as having died of Covid.
Despite overwhelming evidence that the outbreak has overwhelmed hospitals and crematoriums amid apparent Covid surges in multiple cities, China reported only 37 deaths from local Covid cases in the month following December 8, according to figures released on the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
The World Health Organization and the United States have accused China of “under-representing” the severity of its current outbreak, while top global health officials have also urged Beijing to share more data about Covid’s spread in China, where reports of overcrowded hospitals and funeral homes have emerged.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, met with Chinese Health Minister Ma Xiaowei on Saturday.
According to the WHO, Chinese officials shared information such as the most recent numbers on outpatient clinics, hospitalizations, patients requiring emergency treatment and critical care, and hospital deaths.
“The World Health Organization is analyzing this data, which spans early December 2022 to January 12, 2023, and allows for a better understanding of the epidemiological situation and the impact of this wave in China,” it said.
The WHO also requested a more detailed breakdown of data by province over time, as well as a commitment from the Chinese government to continue sharing additional coronavirus sequences with open access databases.
According to Jiao, the NHC medical official, fever clinical visits and Covid hospitalizations have already peaked in China.
According to the NHC, hospitalizations of Covid-19 patients peaked on January 5, 2023, with 1.63 million people admitted, and 1.27 million Covid patients were still admitted as of January 12, Jiao added.