Home News China changes its way of counting Covid deaths and records zero deaths… despite an explosion in cases

China changes its way of counting Covid deaths and records zero deaths… despite an explosion in cases

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China reported no new deaths linked to Covid-19 this Wednesday, December 21, after a controversial change in methodology for accounting for cases, despite a wave of contamination unprecedented in the country by its magnitude.

Since 2020, China has imposed strict health restrictions, in the name of a so-called “zero Covid” policy which has made it possible to protect those most at risk and those who are poorly vaccinated. But the power ended without notice most of these measures in early December against a backdrop of growing exasperation of the population and considerable impact on the economy. The number of cases has since exploded, raising fears of high mortality among the oldest, who are particularly vulnerable.

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The authorities clarified on Tuesday that only people who died directly from respiratory failure linked to Covid-19 were counted in the statistics. This methodology ” scientist “ according to the authorities, however, paints a much narrower picture of the situation.

“After infection with the Omicron variant, the leading cause of death [des patients] are underlying diseases”Wang Guiqiang, a health official in the city of Beijing, defended himself on Tuesday. “Only a small number die directly from respiratory failure caused by Covid”he insisted.

With its management of the Covid, a politically and economically weakened China

This change in methodology means that a large number of deaths will no longer be listed as being due to Covid.

The Omicron variant does not attack the lungs as much as other strains of Covid-19, notes health expert Yanzhong Huang of the Council on International Relations, an American think tank.

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Crematoriums struggling

“This new definition is a reversal of the international norm that prevailed […] and counted as death from the Covid any person who died with the Covid”, notes Yanzhong Huang. According to him, “difficult to say that this is not motivated by political considerations”.

A political generation is born in China

Meanwhile, crematoriums are struggling, according to testimonies collected by AFP, without a formal link with the Covid being able to be established. Some hospitals are overwhelmed, while influenza drugs are harder to find in pharmacies in the face of demand as the country learns to live with the virus.

Contrary to the doctrine hitherto in force, several cities now allow their inhabitants to go to work normally even if they show symptoms of Covid-19. A few weeks earlier, they would have been sent to a quarantine center in the name of “zero Covid”.

The government ended the majority of these measures in the face of growing frustration among the population, three years after the appearance of the first cases of coronavirus in Wuhan (center).

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According to official figures, only seven patients have died from Covid since restrictions were lifted in early December. A figure finally reduced to six Wednesday by the authorities, who did not provide any explanation.

The United States said on Tuesday that it was ready to provide vaccines against Covid-19 to China. “It is in the interest of the international community that we can collectively help China keep [l’épidémie] under control “State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

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