Even though the government had been withholding information on the pandemic for weeks, China on Saturday revealed roughly 60,000 fatalities in people who had COVID-19 since early December, providing precise numbers for an unusual rise seen in crowded hospitals and crematoriums.
Though the authorities claimed the “emergency peak” of its most recent surge seemed to have passed, such figures may still understate the death toll.
The National Health Commission said that since December 8, there had been 54,435 fatalities from COVID-19 and other illnesses combined, with 5,503 deaths resulting from respiratory failure brought on by COVID-19.
Anyone who passed away at home would not be counted in the statistics because it was said that such “deaths due to COVID” happened in hospitals.
The official COVID-19 death toll in China, which has been at 10,775 since the disease was discovered there for the first time in late 2019, would more than quadruple due to the findings.
In its official COVID-19 death toll, China has only included deaths from pneumonia or respiratory failure, a strict definition that leaves out many deaths that would often be linked to COVID-19 around the globe.
China abruptly lifted anti-virus regulations in early December, despite a surge in infections that started in October and has packed hospitals with feverish, wheezing patients.
As a result, China stopped providing data on COVID-19 deaths and illnesses. In Beijing, hospitals around the nation are overflowing with patients, while crematoriums and funeral homes have difficulty caring for the deceased.
Following reports from local and provincial governments that showed as many as hundreds of millions of individuals in China may have contracted the virus, the World Health Organization and other governments made an informational appeal.
According to a National Health Commission official, Jiao Yahui, the number of people visiting fever clinics has decreased, which suggests that infection rates are currently declining.
According to Jiao, the average daily attendance at those clinics peaked at 2.9 million on December 23 and dropped by 83% to 477,000 on Thursday.
At a news conference, Jiao stated, “These figures demonstrate the national emergency peak has passed.”
According to Dr. Dale Bratzler, chief COVID officer at the University of Oklahoma and director of quality control at the university hospital, it is difficult to determine whether China has passed a COVID-19 peak.
It’s challenging to know, Bratzler remarked. The people in China are susceptible since there are many unvaccinated people.
According to Dr. Albert Ko, an infectious disease specialist, and professor at the Yale School of Public Health, the number of COVID-19 deaths China reports may be “significantly understated” due to how they define them.