China Covid-19 Death Toll At 59,938 As Of 12 Jan
In early December, China decided to do away with their zero-Covid policy. Since then, almost 60,000 people have passed away.
China’s National Health Commission (NHC) revealed on Saturday (14 Jan) that hospitals and medical institutions recorded 59,938 deaths between 8 Dec 2022 and 12 Jan 2023.
Most of the people that make up the death toll were the elderly over the age of 65. Many also had underlying diseases.
China Covid-19 death toll reaches 59,938 after relaxing restrictions
According to CNN, since China abruptly relaxed its Covid-19 restrictions in early December, 59,938 people have passed away from the virus.
During a press conference on Saturday (14 Jan), the NHC said 5,503 deaths came from respiratory failure caused by Covid-19 infections.
Another 54,435 individuals who passed had underlying diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease.
The average age of people who died was 80.3, with 90.1% of the fatalities being above 65.
It is unclear if Covid-19 deaths that occurred outside hospitals and medical institutions were counted.
Before the announcement, China had only officially recorded a few dozen Covid-19 fatalities.
This was because only people who died of respiratory failure were included in the death toll.
However, reports of deaths on social media and long queues at crematoriums suggested a higher death toll, reported The Guardian.
Officials say the current wave’s peak has passed
Officials said that the peak of the current wave might have passed.
According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), on 23 Dec, slightly under 2.9 million people visited fever clinics.
As of 12 Jan, this number had dropped to 477,000 nationwide.
The number of Covid-19 hospitalisations is also declining, as with the ratio of patients who tested positive for the virus.
Head of NHC’s Bureau of Medical Administration Jiao Yahui said the number of severe cases has also peaked.
However, it remains high, with most of the patients being elderly.
Millions remain unvaccinated
The Chinese government has previously been criticised by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other governments for its lack of transparency.
WHO had also condemned the country for heavily under-reporting the number of people infected with Covid-19 and the number of severe infections.
On 25 Dec 2022, the health authority stopped publishing daily figures, stating that it was “not necessary”.
There have been significant concerns about the spread of the virus, especially with Chinese New Year around the corner.
CNA reported that as of this time, millions of people over 60 in China are still unvaccinated.
Since borders reopened, many Chinese tourists have also visited Singapore clinics to get the mRNA jab.
Wen Daxiang, a Shanghai Health Commission official, said China would be strengthening their health monitoring and management of the high-risk population.
He shared that China would bolster their supply of drugs and medical equipment, and train grassroots medical workers to fight Covid-19 in rural regions.
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Featured image adapted from Nikkei Asia.
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