Rand a month after abandoning the strict zero-Covid policy, China has nearly 60,000 deaths related to the Coronavirus reported. A total of 59,938 deaths were recorded between December 8, 2022 and January 12, 2023, a senior official of the National Health Commission, Jiao Yahui, said at a news conference on Saturday. The statistics only take into account deaths within medical facilities, the actual number of deaths is likely to be higher.
It is the first major overview published by the government since the corona easing in China in December.
According to Jiao, 5,503 of the almost 60,000 reported deaths are directly attributable to shortness of breath caused by the coronavirus. In the rest they are deaths caused by underlying diseases in combination with Covid-19.
According to the Chinese health authorities, the average age of the deceased was 80.3 years, and 90 percent of the fatalities were over 65 years old. Most would have suffered from underlying diseases. In China, millions of people over the age of 60 are not vaccinated against the corona virus.
In the past few weeks, the number of corona infections in China has exploded. In mid-December, the government in Beijing gave up its long-standing, strict zero-Covid policy.
The counting of corona deaths has been changed
Last month, the Chinese authorities changed the way they counted corona deaths. Only corona infected people who died directly due to respiratory failure are still counted as corona dead. As a result, many deaths are no longer included in the corona statistics.
The World Health Organization (WHO) criticized the change in categorization in China last week. In addition, the WHO repeatedly called for faster and more comprehensive transmission of corona data from China.
The rapid increase in the number of infections in China has sparked concern around the world. Many EU countries, including Germany, now require travelers from the People’s Republic to have a negative corona test. In Germany, travelers from China are also randomly tested for possible new variants of the corona virus after landing.