مشاركات عشوائية

China stops releasing daily Covid data amid reports of huge spike in cases: NPR

featured image


Liang from Beijing, center, watches as his 82-year-old grandmother is brought into a coffin at Gaobeidian funeral home in north China’s Hebei province, 21 December 2019. Dec 22, 2022. The grand -Liang’s mother had not been vaccinated when she showed symptoms of coronavirus and had spent her last days hanging on a ventilator in a Beijing intensive care unit.

PA


hide caption

toggle caption

PA


Liang from Beijing, center, watches as his 82-year-old grandmother is brought into a coffin at Gaobeidian funeral home in north China’s Hebei province, 21 December 2019. Dec 22, 2022. The grand -Liang’s mother had not been vaccinated when she showed symptoms of coronavirus and had spent her last days hanging on a ventilator in a Beijing intensive care unit.

PA

China has stopped releasing daily COVID-19 data, adding to concerns that the country’s leaders could conceal negative information about the pandemic following the easing of restrictions.

Chinese National Health Commission said in a press release that it would no longer publish the data daily from Sunday and that “from now on, the Chinese CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) will publish relevant COVID information for reference and research purposes”. The NHC did not say why the change was made and did not say how often the CDC would release data.

China is seeing a spike in new cases since the easing of restrictions. In Zhejiang province alone, in eastern China, the provincial government said it was experiencing about 1 million new cases a day. Meanwhile, Bloomberg and the Financial Times reported on an estimate leaked by senior Chinese health officials that up to 250 million people may have been infected in the first 20 days of December.

Despite the surge in cases, China has suspended most public testing booths, meaning there is no accurate public measure of the scale of infections across the country.

Last week, Chinese health officials also defended the country’s high threshold for determining whether someone has died of COVID-19. Currently, China is excluding anyone infected with COVID who died but also had pre-existing health conditions, and in the four days leading up to the health commission’s decision to end the release of data, the China has not reported any COVID deaths.

Last week, the World Health Organization warned that China may be “late” on reporting data, offering help with information gathering. Executive Director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Program Michael Ryan said: “In China what has been reported is relatively low numbers of ICU cases, but anecdotally ICUs are filling up.”

Airfinity, a British health data company, estimated last week that China’s true COVID figures were one million infections and 5,000 deaths per day. On Friday, a health official in Qingdao, in the eastern province of Shandong, said the city was seeing about 500,000 new COVID cases a day. The report was shared by the media, but it appears to have been later edited to remove the numbers. It has also been reported had an urgent need for crematoriums.

Earlier this month, China dropped many of its highly restrictive COVID measures following nationwide protests critical of the leadership. The protests were sparked by died in a fire in an apartment building in the city of Urumqi in Xinjiang province, which killed at least 10 people. Some said the deaths could have been avoided if the restrictions had been less stringent.

In a recent briefing, the University of Washington’s Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation predicts up to 1 million deaths in 2023 if China does not maintain its social distancing policies.

Many fear that next month’s Lunar New Year celebrations in China will become superspreader events.

NPR’s Emily Fang contributed to this report.

Post a Comment

0 Comments