China says weekly Covid deaths dropped 50% during Lunar New Year holidays

Beijing, Jan 29 (EFE).- A total of 6,364 Covid-19 deaths were recorded in hospitals across China between Jan. 20 and 26, the country’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said late Saturday.

Of these, 289 were caused directly by the coronavirus while, in the remaining 6,075, underlying conditions also played a part, the CDC said.

The number of deaths between Jan. 20 and 26 represents an almost 50 percent drop compared to those recorded during the previous week, when 12,658 people died, state media Global Times reported.

Almost 216,000 people were hospitalized for Covid-19 across the country until Jan. 26, of which around 1,894 were serious.

Since the end of December, China stopped releasing daily data on Covid-19 cases and deaths to do so on a weekly basis, partly because the end of routine PCR testing made it impossible to accurately determine the spread of the virus.

The latest weekly bulletin includes a major part of the recently concluded Lunar New Year holiday period, which lasted from Jan. 21 to 27.

In recent weeks, some voices have questioned the authenticity of the death figures offered by China.

The UK-based health data company Airfinity recently said that China could see 36,000 Covid-19 deaths a day during the Lunar New Year holidays, when the Chinese usually return to their places of origin and millions of journeys are made.

During the holiday week, 308 million journeys were made, 23.1 percent more than the same period in 2022, when restrictions on movements were in force as part of the country’s now-scrapped zero Covid policy.

After almost three years of tough restrictions, lockdowns and closed borders that ended up sparking protests in several parts of the country, China began to dismantle its zero-Covid policy in early December,.

On Jan. 8, it officially downgraded Covid-19 from the top-level category A infectious disease to category B, thereby marking the end of its stringent policy. EFE


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