China reported no new deaths linked to Covid-19 on Wednesday, December 21, after a change in methodology for accounting for cases, at a time when the country is facing an unprecedented epidemic rebound.
Since 2020, China has imposed strict health restrictions, in the name of a so-called “zero Covid” policy which has made it possible to protect those most at risk and those who are poorly vaccinated.
But the power ended without notice most of these measures in early December against a backdrop of growing exasperation of the population and considerable impact on the economy.
The number of cases has since exploded, raising fears of high mortality among the oldest, who are particularly vulnerable.
Read alsoCovid-19: the Omicron wave is sweeping over China
The authorities clarified on Tuesday that only people who died directly from respiratory failure linked to Covid-19 were counted in the statistics.
This “ scientific
according to the authorities, however, paints a more reduced picture of the situation.
After an infection with the Omicron variant, the main cause of death (of patients) are underlying diseases
", defended Wang Guiqiang, a Beijing health official on Tuesday.
Only a small number die directly from respiratory failure caused by Covid
,” he insisted.
Crematoriums are struggling, according to testimonies collected by AFP, without a formal link with the Covid being able to be established.
Some hospitals are overwhelmed, while anti-flu drugs are harder to find in pharmacies in the face of demand as the country learns to live with the virus.
According to official figures, only seven patients have died from Covid since restrictions were lifted in early December.
The United States said on Tuesday that it was ready to provide vaccines against Covid-19 to China.
It is in the interest of the international community that we can collectively help China keep (the epidemic) under control
,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.