Following international criticism of the nation’s coronavirus data, China stated on Saturday that approximately 60,000 people with COVID-19 had died in hospitals since it abandoned its zero-COVID policy last month. This is a significant rise from previously published estimates.
After significant protests in late November, Beijing abruptly lifted its tight three-year anti-virus system of regular testing, travel restrictions, and mass lockdowns. Since then, infections have skyrocketed throughout the 1.4 billion-person country.
A health official said on Saturday that COVID fever and emergency hospitalizations had peaked and the number of hospitalized patients was continuing to decline.
Between Dec. 8 and Jan. 12, the number of COVID-related deaths in Chinese hospitals totaled 59,938, Jiao Yahui, head of the Bureau of Medical Administration under the National Health Commission (NHC), told a media briefing.
Of those fatalities, 5,503 were caused by respiratory failure due to COVID and the remainder resulted from a combination of COVID and other diseases, she said.
China has previously reported just over 5,000 deaths since the epidemic started, one of the lowest fatality rates in the world, despite the fact that international health experts have anticipated at least 1 million COVID-related deaths this year.
Over the previous month, authorities had been reporting five or fewer deaths each day, which was incongruous with the enormous lines at funeral businesses and the corpse bags leaving overflowing hospitals that were visible.