China’s health commission no longer publishes daily corona figures

BEIJING, Dec 25 (Reuters) – Amid the corona wave in China, the national health commission has stopped publishing daily infection and death figures. Relevant information will now be published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for reference and research purposes, the commission said Sunday. How often this should happen has been left open. No reason was given for the move. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said a little later that no new deaths had been recorded for the mainland on Saturday, like the day before.

The omicron variant of the virus is rampant in China after the government abruptly abandoned its strict zero-Covid policy and lifted strict testing regulations and travel restrictions. Many people welcomed the relaxation. However, the healthcare system is not sufficiently prepared for the wave of infections. Hospitals are overcrowded and pharmacies are short of medicines. The situation is likely to worsen when the Chinese New Year is celebrated in January and many people visit their families.

Nevertheless, before stopping the publication, the Health Commission had not reported a single new death nationwide for four consecutive days and most recently on Saturday 4,128 new cases of infection with symptoms. In addition, China has narrowed its definition of death reporting to only count pneumonia and respiratory failure caused by the virus.

Health experts around the world have a critical view on this. British health data firm Airfinity said this week that the true number of new infections is expected to be over a million a day, with deaths at over 5,000. This contrasts sharply with official data.

These have become increasingly unreliable. After recording record cases in late November, the Health Commission stopped reporting asymptomatic cases in December. This has made it more difficult to track cases of infection. Also, as a result of the easing, much less testing is done.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has not received any data on hospitalizations since the easing. This may be because authorities are struggling to count cases, according to the WHO.

China’s health commission no longer publishes daily corona figures

Source: Reuters

Photo symbol: Image by greghristov on Pixabay

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