China: No daily Covid data from today, says NHC amid doubts over actual figures

The NHC has not specified any reasons for the change or how frequently China CDC will update Covid-19 information.

Edited By Alka Jain
First Published25 Dec 2022
China's National Health Commission will no longer release daily Covid-19 figures from today.
China’s National Health Commission will no longer release daily Covid-19 figures from today.

China's National Health Commission will no longer release daily Covid-19 figures from today, Sunday, the NHC said in an official statement. The commission published such data for the past three years in the country, according to the news agency Reuters. 

"Relevant Covid information will be published by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention for reference and research," the statement read.

The NHC has not specified any reasons for the change or how frequently China CDC will update Covid-19 information. 

In China, intensive care units are turning away ambulances, relatives of sick people are searching for beds, and patients are slumped on benches in hospital corridors and lying on floors for a lack of beds.

AP journalists visited five hospitals and two crematoriums in towns and small cities in Baoding and Langfang prefectures, in central Hebei province over two days as Covid spreads across these areas.

The area was the epicentre of one of China's first outbreaks after the state loosened Covid-19 controls in November and December. For weeks, the region went quiet, as people fell ill and stayed home.

Experts have forecast between a million and 2 million deaths in China next year, and the World Health Organisation warned that Beijing's way of counting would “underestimate the true death toll."

According to radio Free Asia citing leaked government documents circulating on social media, almost 250 million people in China may have been affected by Covid-19 in just 20 days after the 'zero-covid policy' was diluted in the first week of the month. 

As per Radio Free Asia, the data on covid cases released by government officials on December 20 is different from the reality as nearly 37 million were estimated.

A senior Chinese journalist told Radio Free Asia on Thursday that the document was genuine, and had been leaked by someone who attended the meeting who was acting deliberately and in the public interests.

The report came at the time when British-based health data firm Airfinity, said that the infections in China are likely to be more than one million a day with deaths at more than 5,000 a day.

 

(With inputs from agencies)

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