Has reported 60,000 covid-related deaths in just over a month, leading to widespread accusations that the nation is underreporting coronavirus deaths. between 8 december and 12 january, china recorded 59,938 covid-related deaths, most of whom were over 80 and had underlying conditions. 5,503 of these deaths were caused by respiratory failure directly due to the virus, while 54,435 were caused by underlying conditions combined with the virus.
Peak of patients hospitalised with severe covid was in early january, although the number subsequently remained high. beijing changed the way it categorises covid deaths, only counting towards its total those who died of respiratory failure directly induced by the virus. the world health organisation criticised the definition, describing it as “too narrow”.
Has always contended that its figures are accurate, and called on the who to “uphold a scientific, objective and just position”. the real total is likely to be higher because the figures refer only to deaths recorded at medical facilities. officials will continue to monitor the situation in rural areas, focusing on early detection and prioritising treatment of the most vulnerable.