China stops publishing daily Covid statistics amid reports of explosion in cases |  China

China’s National Health Commission (NHC) has stopped publishing daily Covid-19 data, amid concerns about the reliability of the figures after the outbreak of infections after strict restrictions were suddenly eased.

“Relevant Covid information will be released by the China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for reference and research,” the commission said in a statement, without specifying the reasons for the change or how often the China CDC will update the public with new Covid information.

Since Beijing made sweeping changes to its zero-covid policy, putting hundreds of millions of its citizens under lockdown, reporting the world’s second-highest number of daily infections and deaths has suddenly stopped. – Huge economy.

Despite a record rise in infections, the NHC reported no Covid deaths nationwide for four days in a row before halting data release. Last week China lowers definition of covid deathCounts only those with Covid-caused pneumonia or respiratory failure.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned last week China may be struggling to contain the number of Covid-19 infections. WHO has not received any information from China on new Covid hospitals since Beijing eased its restrictions. The lack of data transparency has made it difficult to track the extent of this latest outbreak of Covid.

Officially, China has recorded fewer than 10 Covid-related deaths in the past fortnight, but the surge in demand for crematoriums has been interpreted as evidence that the actual death toll is much higher.

Britain-based health data firm Airfinity last week estimated that China had more than a million infections and 5,000 deaths a day.

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On Friday, a local health official in Qingdao announced the city was looking into the matter “490,000 to 530,000” new covid cases per day. The report was shared by several news outlets, but appears to have been edited by Saturday morning to remove case statistics.

The country’s health care system is under tremendous pressure as sick and retired medical workers in rural communities are redeployed to help with grassroots efforts, according to state media.

Adding to the rush is the approach of the Lunar New Year in January, when large numbers of people travel across the country.

Reuters contributed to this report

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