Yesterday, the health authorities in China announced the registration of about 60,000 deaths from the emerging coronavirus (Covid-19) within five weeks, which is the first large death toll from “Corona” that the Chinese government has been talking about since the sudden lifting of health measures at the beginning of last month.

The head of the Medical Administration Office of the National Health Commission, Jiao Yahui, told reporters that China recorded 59,938 deaths related to “Covid-19” during the period from last December 8 to January 12, and this outcome includes 5503 deaths resulting from device failure. The respiratory system is directly caused by the virus, and 54,435 deaths are caused by underlying diseases associated with “Covid-19”.

And the health authorities in China said that more than 90% of the deceased were over the age of 65, indicating that most of them were suffering from other diseases.

And the Chinese authorities considered, last Wednesday, that there was no need to immediately go into the exact number of deaths related to “Covid-19” infection, after the World Health Organization criticized Beijing for the inaccuracy of its data.

China counts “Covid-19” deaths only for cases in which people died from breathing problems exclusively, after tests confirmed that they were infected with the virus, and this change in methodology means that a large number of deaths are not listed as being caused by “Covid-19”. And last week, the World Health Organization criticized China’s new definition of deaths from “Covid-19”, which it described as “very narrow”.

“We continue to ask China to provide regular and reliable data faster on hospitalizations and deaths, in addition to a more complete genetic sequence of the virus and in real time,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Gebreisos, during a press conference.

China’s population resumed travel ahead of the Lunar New Year, despite fears of infection, after Beijing scrapped anti-COVID-19 restrictions last month and passenger numbers on flights increased by 63% from 2019 levels.

China reopened its borders on January 8, after abandoning a strict anti-virus regime that included frequent checks, travel restrictions and mass lockdowns.

The Chinese Ministry of Transport expected passenger numbers to jump by 99.5% year-on-year during the holiday travel season, which lasts until February 15.

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