China claims actively sharing accurate Covid-related data

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Hong Kong, Jan 16 (IANS) After the World Health Organisation (WHO) and top global leaders asked China to share more data on Covid and the virus origin, top epidemiologists from the country said it takes time to generate Covid-19 data amid caseload surge and the country is “actively publishing and sharing” accurate Covid-related data with world.

State-run Global Times reported that China has conducted multiple technological exchanges with the WHO, and will continue to support the organisation in the global effort to combat the deadly disease.

Liang Wannian, head of China’s Covid-19 response expert panel under the National Health Commission, said that rather than focusing on the Covid death toll in China, “the priority for the world is to get through the impact of the pandemic”.

Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Chinese CDC), said last week that right after the pandemic broke out in 2020, the centre has continued to analyse excess mortality and published the results.

An expert close to the Chinese CDC, who declined to be named, told the Global Times that China has always closely monitored its Covid-19 situation, including deaths and the emergence of new variants.

“China is also getting to grips with the number of Covid-related deaths beyond hospitals, but due to lack of testing or delayed reporting, the calculation may take longer than those compiled by hospitals,” said the expert.

On Saturday, Jiao Yahui, an NHC official, said that a total of 59,938 Covid-related deaths in hospitals were reported between December 8, 2022 and January 12, 2023.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus welcomed the Chinese government’s admission that almost 60,000 people died due to Covid.

The WHO chief spoke to Minister Ma Xiaowei, director of China’s National Health Commission, about the COVID-19 situation in the country.

“I appreciated the release of detailed information, which we request they continue to share. Asked for the sharing of further sequences and cooperation on understanding the virus origins,” said Ghebreyesus.

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