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China should eventually calculate Covid death rates by examining excess mortality

by Ana Lopez
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As a historic wave of infections sweep through the country and concerns arise over the veracity of China’s official Covid estimates, the country plans to compute and then disseminate data on excess mortality.

A team at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention has begun preparations to investigate the number of fatalities, said top epidemiologist Wu Zunyou. With the aim of providing a more global picture of the impact of the current Covid wave, the concept of excess mortality has been adopted worldwide.

Excess mortality compares the number of deaths caused by the current Covid wave to the number of deaths that would have occurred anyway without the pandemic. “The deaths from Covid are a global concern,” Wu said this Thursday during a briefing in Beijing “By calculating the excess mortality, we can find out what may have been underestimated.”

When Covid first emerged in China’s main city, Wuhan, the CDC team conducted an excess mortality study. The National Health Commission included more than 1,300 fatalities from the city in its Covid death count in April 2020.

China should eventually calculate Covid death rates
China should eventually calculate Covid death rates

China has received a lot of criticism from the start of the epidemic for how it reported the size of the outbreak and how it handled the situation. The unexpected reversal of Covid Zero this month spread the virus across the vast country of 1.4 billion peopleand the government has once again come under fire for under-reporting both the number of Covid cases and fatalities.

You can check out our previous article-

When the previously widespread network of PCR test booths closed, the official total for Covid infections became largely worthless. And the recent adoption of a stricter definition of a Covid fatality – only those who die of respiratory failure caused by the virus are recorded – means the limited number of fatalities being reported contrasts with images of unrest in the hospitals and crematoria of the country.

At the moment, China claims to be experiencing thousands of new cases per day. But the government’s top health agency calculated there were about 37 million infections in a single day last week, surpassing the global record number of about 4 million in a single day earlier this year.

Earlier this month, London-based research firm Airfinity Ltd, which specializes in predictive health analytics, predicted that the country could face more than 5,000 deaths every day. With images of overburdened hospitals playing out across the country, officials warned on Thursday that certain regions are now grappling with a rise in severe Covid patients.

The occupancy rate of intensive care beds has not risen above the red line of 80% for the entire countrybut some parts of the country are bracing for an increase in severe cases, said Jiao Yahui, officially managed hospitals at the National Health Commission.

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Jiao noted that the occupancy rate of intensive care units is reaching 80% or more in several parts of China, including the capital Beijing and the surrounding Hebei province, the eastern industrial center of Zhejiang and the southern province of Sichuan.

Last lines

China aims to calculate and then share statistics on excess mortality as concerns grow over the reliability of the country’s official Covid figures amid an unprecedented wave of disease sweeping the country.

To keep up to date with the latest events, check out Leedaily.com and forward this article to your friends and family.

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