Not hiding Covid infections or death figures, claims China

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Washington, Jan 6 (IANS) China has denied allegations that it is hiding Covid infection or death figures, saying the severe illness and death in the country compares favourably with other nations, the media reported on Friday.

According to South China Morning Post, Beijing’s embassy in Washington, DC, countered allegations after several countries, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), criticised China for withholding actual Covid figures, requesting the country to come clean on the infection surge and hospitalisations.

“China has always shared its information and data responsibly with the international community,” Liu Pengyu, spokesman for Beijing’s Washington embassy, said in a news briefing.

Chinese scientists are “now working with WHO to have further discussions about the data,” he said, adding that in the last month, “we have two exchanges with the WHO”.

Last week, Mike Ryan, the WHO’s emergencies director said that the current figures being published from China under-represented the numbers of hospital admissions, ICU admissions and “particularly in terms of death”.

The WHO had said that the curbs on travellers from China by various countries is “understandable” in the absence of comprehensive information from the ground.

“In the absence of comprehensive information from #China, it is understandable that countries around the world are acting in ways that they believe may protect their populations,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had said in a tweet.

China’s National Health Commission (NHC) has stopped publishing daily Covid-19 case data, handing over the charge to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as nations, including India, ask the country to share actual Covid data on an urgent basis.

However, it will still take days for the CDC to activate the epidemic monitor reporting system and allow the organisation to collect and report infection data effectively.

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