China stops publishing Covid death figures

China will not publish daily Covid-19 deaths and cases figures, amid rising cases after the removal of its strict zero Covid policy.

The National Health Commission (NHC), announced the change on Sunday. This ends a practice that started in early 2020.

After Beijing quickly relaxed its zero Covid strategies, many cities in China have been struggling with rising infections.

The NHC stated that “from today, we will no longer publish daily information about the epidemic,” without providing further explanation.

However, the removal of strict testing requirements has made it virtually impossible to track caseloads. Authorities have also reduced the medical definition of Covid death. Experts believe this will reduce the number of deaths due to the virus.

The NHC stated that “The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention will publish information regarding the outbreak for research purposes” but did not specify the type of data or frequency to be published.

People in China are frustrated by the discrepancy between official statistics, and infection rates within their families. They have responded with cynicism.

One user wrote on Weibo, “Finally they are awakening and realising that they can’t fool people anymore.”

Another user stated that this was the most significant and best fake statistics manufacturing office in the nation.

Agence France-Presse interviewed crematorium workers and reported an unusually high influx.

“Are crematorium workers available? Are you overwhelmed? “Can you talk about?,” another Weibo user wrote.

The state media has mostly ignored the influx of bodies at crematoriums. However, they have acknowledged that hospitals are stressed by an influx of patients and a lack of anti-fever medication.

The new methodological shift has also weakened official statistics. Only people who died from Covid-related respiratory failure will be counted as having been killed by the virus.

Since the lifting of its pandemic restrictions, China has only announced six deaths from Covid-19.

In a rare acknowledgement, however, the media quoted a Qingdao senior health official as saying that half a million people are infected each day.

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