February 4, 2023

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World Health Organization: China does not mention the true extent of the Corona outbreak

The situation in the country was the subject of a briefing at the World Health Organization on Wednesday. The organization criticizes China’s “too narrow” definition of coronavirus deaths and says official statistics do not show the true consequences of the outbreak.

And it caused an uproar among many experts when China narrowed its definition of coronavirus deaths last month. They are only counting deaths from coronavirus pneumonia or respiratory failure.

More than a million could die

– We believe the figures now being released from China underestimate the true scale of hospitalizations, intensive care admissions and, not least, deaths, says WHO Crisis Director Michael Ryan.

– We still don’t get real numbers, he adds.

Since the change, China has reported five or fewer deaths per day, but many funeral homes and hospitals have reported a significant influx. International experts expect at least 1 million coronavirus-related deaths in China this year, unless something is done quickly.

The head of the World Health Organization is concerned

CEO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also expressed concern.

– We continue to demand faster, regular and reliable numbers of hospitalizations and deaths from China, he says.

– The World Health Organization is concerned about the danger to life in China and has reaffirmed how important vaccination, including booster doses, is to protect against hospitalization, serious illness and death, said the WHO chief.

With infections spreading and sharing information from the Chinese side limited, Tedros says he understands that some countries are choosing to test travelers arriving from China.

Omikron completely dominates

According to WHO, there are two subgroups of the omicron variant – BA. 5.2 and BF. 7- For up to 97.5 percent of local infection cases in the latest outbreak in China. The figures are based on analyzes of more than 2,000 genomes at the National Institute of Public Health in China.

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This is also consistent with genome samples taken by travelers from China and entered by others into a global database. No significant new variants or mutations have appeared in the publicly available records.

The World Health Organization asked the Chinese researchers to provide a detailed overview of the virus sequence to get a better overview of admissions, deaths, and hospitalizations.