Amid packed ICUs, crematoriums, obscure official Covid data: 5 points

China’s official Covid tally has been contradictory to stories and visuals from ICUs and crematoriums.

Questions are being raised yet again as China is hit with one of the worst Covid outbreaks but official figures continue to show a different pictures. Grim stories of packed intensive care units (ICUs) and crematoriums have been emerging at a time when millions are said to have contracted the virus in the country. Now, China’s National Health Commission – that has been publishing daily Covid tally amid the pandemic- has said it will no longer release such data from Sunday, news agency Reuters reported.

Here are five developments on China Covid crisis:

1) “Relevant Covid information will be published by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention for reference and research,” the NHC stated, as per the Reuters report. The national agency has specified the reasons for the change or how frequently China CDC will update the information in this regard.

2) After recent easing of Covid measures, the data coming from the country is said to be unreliable. The NHC on Friday said that no new Covid deaths were recorded on December 22, compared with zero the previous day. On December 22, 3,761 new symptomatic infections were registered, compared with 3,030 a day earlier. China counts its symptomatic and asymptomatic cases separately.

3) At a time when the country deals with a major health crisis, “Internet Hospitals” are being counted on to provide help to the affected people. This step aims to reduce overload on health facilities.

4) About 248 million people around the country, roughly 17.56 per cent of the total population, are reported to have contacted the virus in the first 20 days of December, as per a leaked document purportedly from China’s National Health Commission that has been cited in reported. Nearly 37 million cases were recorded on Tuesday.

5) While ICUs in Beijing are grappling with stressa, it is expected to ease as load epidemic is approaching climax, as per an article in the state-run Global Times.