China says Covid-19 deaths, severe cases drop by more than 70%

1 week ago 16

BEIJING – The number of Covid-related deaths and severe cases at Chinese hospitals have declined by more than 70 per cent from peak levels reached in early January, according to the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Daily fatalities at hospitals across the country slid to 896 as of Monday, down from a high of 4,273 on Jan 4, the centre said in a statement published on Wednesday. 

Severe cases fell to 36,000 on Monday, down 72 per cent from the peak of 128,000 on Jan 5, according to the CDC. Nearly 10,000 new severe cases were added a day from Dec 27 to Jan 3, it said, adding that daily new infections hit a peak of more than 7 million per day around Dec 22.

China was urged by the World Health Organisation earlier this month to release more detailed information on its Covid-19 situation as the virus spreads rapidly throughout the country after Beijing’s abrupt end to Covid Zero. The government also drew criticism for dramatically narrowing its definition of a Covid-19 death and halting daily caseload reports.

Authorities have since reported on deaths that fall outside the narrower definition, which only counts fatalities from infected people with respiratory failure, in an attempt to appease the concerns. Still, the true toll could be hundreds of thousands higher than the official figure that counts only deaths at hospitals.

The CDC said earlier this week that 12,658 Covid-linked deaths were logged at hospitals between Jan 13-19. A week before that, the country reported 59,938 such deaths for the period of Dec 8 to Jan 12.

Separately, the CDC said on Wednesday that daily visits to fever clinics dropped to 63,000 on Monday, down almost 98 per cent from a peak of 2.87 million on Dec 23. BLOOMBERG, REUTERS

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