A Chinese health worker takes a swab
After more than three years, China's national health commission has stopped publishing the daily corona numbers.
Going forward, "relevant information" on the Covid pandemic will be published by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention for reference and research purposes, according to a sparse communication from the commission.
There is no explanation for this change yet.
Critics see this as an attempt by the Chinese government to cover up the high number of infections in the wake of an abrupt relaxation of the strict restrictions.
Despite the record increase in infections, China's national health commission had not reported any corona deaths nationwide for four days.
According to estimates by the British health organization Airfinity, on the other hand, there were more than a million infections and 5,000 deaths per day in China in the past week alone.
This is in "strong contrast" to the official data, which have recently become less and less reliable.
After record cases were recorded in late November, the Health Commission stopped reporting asymptomatic cases in December.
This made it more difficult to track cases of infection.
In addition, as a result of the easing, significantly less testing is carried out.
The People's Republic surprisingly heralded the end of its controversial zero-Covid policy this month after nationwide protests.
Since then, the number of infections has skyrocketed.
Many people welcomed the easing.
However, the health system is not sufficiently prepared for the wave of infections.
Medicines are sometimes scarce and hospitals are overcrowded.
Crematoria and undertakers are also apparently having problems because of the increasing number of deaths.
The situation is likely to worsen when the Chinese New Year is celebrated in January and numerous people travel to their families.