China admits Covid death numbers are 'huge' - with 18,000,000 infected in Shanghai alone

China has admitted that the number of Covid deaths in the country are ‘huge’ with a predicted 18,000 infected in Shanghai alone.
China has admitted that the number of Covid deaths in the country are ‘huge’ with a predicted 18,000 infected in Shanghai alone.

Covid infections started to sweep across China in November, picking up pace this month after Beijing dismantled its zero-COVID policies

Published

China has admitted that the number of Covid deaths in the country are ‘huge’ with a predicted 18,000 infected in Shanghai alone.

Covid infections started to sweep across China in November, picking up pace this month after Beijing dismantled its zero-COVID policies including regular PCR testing on its population and publication of data on asymptomatic cases.

Cumulative deaths in China since Dec. 1 likely reached 100,000 with infections totalling 18.6 million, Airfinity said in a statement. It says it uses modelling based on data from Chinese provinces before the recent changes to reporting cases were implemented.

The country also faced accusations of not releasing Covid data after it was revealed that it has submitted less than 1,000 samples of the virus to the international scientific community in the last four weeks.

But, in a rare moment of honesty health officials appeared on TV and admitted the country was seeing an increase in “the critical cases or the fatalities”.

They said that this was in line with other countries across the world, who they claim have also seen a surge.

National Health Commission official, Jiao Yahui, said: “We have a huge base, so what people feel is that the severe cases, the critical cases or the fatalities are increasing.

“As far as this wave is concerned, what people have felt is the absolute number, not the low percentage [of deaths to total infections]. Relative to the rest of the world, the infection peaks we are faced with across the country are not unusual.”

Beijing also blasted other countries for making arrivals from China take a Covid test before arriving.

The capital threatened that “countermeasures” could be taken in response to the new rules imposed.

Vice president at Ruijin Hospital and a member of Shanghai's Covid expert advisory panel Chen Erzhen believes the majority of Shanghai’s population is now infected.

He said: “'Now the spread of the epidemic in Shanghai is very wide, and it may have reached 70 per cent of the population, which is 20 to 30 times more than [in April and May].”

He suggested this could mean as many as 17.5million people are infected in the city.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said in his 2023 New Year Address that China's Covid-19 policy maximised the protection of lives, calling for more effort and unity as the country enters a "new phase" in its approach to the pandemic.

Xi declared in a televised speech on the last day of 2022 that China had overcome unprecedented difficulties and challenges in the battle against COVID-19, and that its policies were "optimised" when the situation and time so required.

These were Xi's first comments to the public regarding China's COVID-19 policy since Beijing scrapped a strict zero-COVID approach based on mass testing, centralised quarantine, and lockdowns that it had maintained for almost three years.

The country still says only 5,000 people have died from the virus, but other predictions but the number as high as 9,000 a day.