17 Jan 2023

China Covid News: 60,000 Deaths Gross Underestimation, Experts estimate At Least 9 Lakh Deaths

Beijing. A shocking report has come out from China on the deaths due to Coronavirus. Experts said China has reported nearly 60,000 Covid-related deaths during the first five weeks of its current outbreak, the highest number ever in the world. 

China's National Health Commission revealed this weekend that China's sudden pivot from a Covid zero in early December led to a surge in Omicron infections and 59,938 virus-related deaths occurred in the country's hospitals by January 12.

Gross underestimation: Experts

The official tally drew widespread criticism both at home and abroad, including from the World Health Organisation. Experts say this is still likely a gross underestimate given the sheer scale of the outbreak and the death toll from Omicron seen in other countries that initially adopted a zero Covid strategy. .

64 percent of population was infected by mid-January

A report of the Peking University found that 64 percent of the population was infected by mid-January. They estimated that 900,000 people could have died in the past five weeks, based on a conservative 0.1 percent fatality rate of Covid cases. 

This means that the official hospital death figure is less than 7 percent of the actual total mortality that must have occurred during the outbreak.

Official figures mean 1.17 deaths per day for every million people in the country during the five weeks, according to a Bloomberg analysis. This is much lower than the average daily death rate seen in other countries.

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