China COVID deaths halve as officials signal wave nearing end
China’s current COVID-19 surge appears to be tapering off — with no significant increase in infections during the Lunar New Year holiday and the number of deaths sharply dropping, health officials said.
The number of severe cases and deaths is also trending downward, the country’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.
“There has not been an obvious rebound in Covid cases during the Lunar New Year holidays,” the CDC wrote in a report.
“In this time, no new variant has been discovered, and the country’s current wave is coming to an end.”
Between Jan. 20 and 26, when millions of families reunited for holiday gatherings, China reported 6,364 COVID-related deaths.
A week earlier, the CDC reported that there had been 12,658 COVID-related deaths.
“The overall epidemic situation in the country has entered a low level, and the epidemic situation in various places has maintained a steady downward trend,” National Health Commission spokesperson Mi Feng told a media briefing Monday.
This year’s Lunar New Year celebration is the first in three years without any of the country’s strict “Zero-COVID” lockdown restrictions.
China ended its draconian policy in early December following widespread protests.
It’s believed that about 226 million domestic trips were made during the holiday week, including flights, state broadcaster CCTV reported, citing government figures.
Chinese officials first tried to argue there had been few COVID-linked deaths since its policy shift.
However, the National Health Commission later reported that there had been nearly 60,000 COVID-related deaths between Dec. 8 and Jan. 12, after the agency changed its definition of what classifies as a COVID death.
The stark change in numbers highlights the lack of transparency coming from Beijing about the number of daily cases the country has seen since December.
With Post wires