Home / News / World /  ‘Covid deaths are clearly piling up’, says top US scientist as WHO warns China on hiding numbers

Epidemiologist and health economist Dr Eric Feigl-Ding has informed that World Health Organisation's (WHO) head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has asked China to stop under-reporting Covid deaths. The Director-General of the World Health Organization has asked Chinese authorities to stop hiding the number of Covid deaths in the country.

Ding took to Twitter to write, "The @WHO and it’s Director General @DrTedros has officially called on China to stop underreporting and hiding #COVID19 deaths! The deaths are clearly piling up amid overwhelmed crematoriums. But when will 🇨🇳 admit the true numbers?! ➡️This is the sum of all fears

This comes on a day when China defended its handling of the raging Covid-19 case surge in the country after US president Joe Biden and WHO raised concern. China scrapped its stringent Covid controls last month after protests against them, abandoning a policy that had shielded its 1.4 billion population from the virus for three years.

Ding had in December shared an image of the insides of hospitals in CHina, which wholly contradicted the Chinese authorities' claim that the Covid situation int he country is under control.

Ding has in December said that China and the rest of the world will spiral back into the pandemic wave in the next 3 months and is likely to see deaths in the millions. He had written, "⚠️THERMONUCLEAR BAD—Hospitals completely overwhelmed in China ever since restrictions dropped. Epidemiologist estimate >60% of 🇨🇳 & 10% of Earth’s population likely infected over next 90 days. Deaths likely in the millions—plural. This is just the start———

China's foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told a regular press briefing in Beijing that China had transparently and quickly shared Covid data with the WHO.

Mao said that China's "epidemic situation is controllable" and that it hoped the WHO would "uphold a scientific, objective, and impartial position".

"Facts have proved that China has always, in accordance with the principles of legality, timeliness, openness and transparency, maintained close communication and shared relevant information and data with the WHO in a timely manner," Mao said.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had also criticized China's ‘narrow' definition of Covid deaths—of suppressing deaths.

China reported one new Covid death in the mainland for Wednesday, compared with five a day earlier, bringing its official death toll to 5,259.

WHO's emergencies director, Mike Ryan, said on Wednesday the numbers China was publishing under-represented hospital admissions, intensive care unit patients and deaths.

Covid situation in China

Millions of people will be travelling within China later this month for the Lunar New Year holiday.

China's government has played down the severity of the situation in recent days and the state-run Global Times said in an article on Wednesday that Covid had peaked in several cities including the capital, Beijing, citing interviews with doctors.

Covid deaths in China

With one of the lowest official Covid death tolls in the world, China has been routinely accused of under-reporting for political reasons.

International health experts predict at least 1 million Covid-related deaths in China this year without urgent action. British-based health data firm Airfinity has estimated about 9,000 people in China are probably dying each day from Covid.

(With agency inputs)

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