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True COVID-19 death toll in China revealed

The world’s greatest COVID-19 outbreak, which China reported around 60,000 deaths from in the first five weeks, may have undercounted the total death toll by hundreds of thousands, according to specialists.

According to data released this weekend by the National Health Commission, China’s unexpected departure from Covid Zero in early December sparked a wave of omicron infections and resulted in 59,938 virus-related fatalities in the country’s hospitals through January 12.

China COVID-19 Cases

Experts say the number is still likely to be an underestimate given the enormous scale of the outbreak and the mortality rates seen at the height of omicron waves in other countries that initially pursued a Covid Zero strategy.

The number swamps the few dozen deaths previously recorded in the official tally, which drew widespread criticism both at home and abroad, including from the World Health Organization.

Although the statistic is broadly in line with what Zhang hypothesized may be coming from the nation’s hospitals, he claimed that it represents only a small portion of all COVID-19 deaths nationwide.

Based on a study from the National School of Development at Peking University that revealed 64% of the populace was sick by mid-January and a conservative 0.1% case fatality rate, he calculated that 900,000 people would have perished in the previous five weeks. Thus, fewer than 7% of the total mortality seen during the outbreak is represented by the official hospital death toll.

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Mortality Rate Increases

China reported thousands of deaths related to COVID-19 as the greatest outbreak hit the country, but the real count revealed more than that.

The official death toll amounts to 1.17 deaths per day for every million people in the nation over the period of five weeks. Who is far lower than the daily average mortality rate observed in other nations that first adopted Covid Zero or successfully contained the virus after loosening their pandemic regulations.

She suggested that since China’s most recent revelation only included hospital deaths, it’s possible that many of the nation’s fatalities took place in nursing homes or at home, which would account for some of the undercounts. According to reports of overflowing crematoriums across the nation, excess mortality is at a high level.

According to her, the group now calculates that there have been around 390,000 deaths in China as a result of COVID-19, with a potential range of 77,000 to 945,000 based on fatalities observed in other nations.

The latest figures from China were welcomed by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who said they help to clarify the situation and the possible effects of the COVID-19 wave in China. Additionally, he urged the nation to keep disseminating such data and eventually provide a more thorough breakdown of data by province.

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