China’s Top Health Agency Will No Longer Publish Every Day Covid Case Numbers Rise as Infections Rise
China’s top health authority has said that it will no longer release daily Covid-19 case numbers. This is because reports have said that the true number of deaths from the country’s ongoing outbreak is much higher than the official numbers.
The National Health Commission (NHC) said on Sunday that China’s CDC, which is part of the NHC, would instead publish “relevant outbreak information.” The decision to give case counts to a lower authority comes at a time when China is having a coronavirus wave that has never happened before. This is because restrictions have been loosened in a big way.
The statement didn’t say how often China’s CDC would release Covid reports. Usually, China’s CDC only puts out monthly summaries of all infectious diseases covered by Chinese law, such as seasonal flu, Hepatitis B, and plague.
Since China eased its restrictions on Covid a lot earlier this month, there has been no clear information about how far the virus has spread across the country.
China no longer keeps an official count of its total number of infections. This is because the government shut down its network of PCR testing booths across the country and said it would stop collecting data on cases with no symptoms. People in China now use rapid antigen tests to check for infections, and they don’t have to tell anyone if the test comes back positive.
On Sunday, health officials in the Zhejiang province of China, which is just south of Shanghai, said they were seeing more than a million new cases of Covid-19 every day. According to the most recent census data from 2021, there are 64 million people living in the province. CNN’s calculations show that it would mean about 1,563 new infections per 100,000 people every day.
Yu Xinle, who is the deputy head of Zhejiang’s health commission, said that the province’s current wave is likely to reach its peak around New Year’s Day when the number of daily infections will reach 2 million. which is more than 3,000 new cases per 100,000 people every day and would last for a week before going down.
The city of Qingdao, which has 9 million people living in it and is in the northern province of Shandong, also has about 500,000 new infections every day, said Bo Tao, the city’s health chief. He told reporters on Friday that the peak is still to come. CNN did the math and found that this means there are 5,556 infections for every 100,000 people.
Health officials said Friday that between 250,000 and 350,000 new cases are being reported every day in Dongguan, a city in the south with a population of more than 10 million.