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China COVID deaths probably running above 5,000 per day

BEIJING (Reuters) – More than 5,000 people are likely to die from the novel coronavirus every day in China, health data company Airfinity estimates. This contrasts with official Beijing data on the country’s current outbreak.

The UK-based company said it used a model based on regional data from China to create the figures, which also showed that the current number of daily infections in the country is above 1 million. ing.

That estimate “stands in stark contrast to official data reporting 1,800 cases and just seven official deaths in the past week,” the statement said.

China’s National Health Commission (NHC) did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment. On Thursday, 2,966 new locally symptomatic cases were reported, with no new COVID-19 deaths on 21 December.

A senior World Health Organization official said Wednesday that China may be struggling to tally COVID infections as the number of cases surges.

China’s sudden U-turn to its previous zero-COVID policy following the protests has sparked global fears that infections will spread among vulnerable and under-vaccinated populations. We have stopped mass testing and stopped reporting asymptomatic cases.

According to Airfinity, the company’s mortality risk analysis suggests that between 1.3 million and 2.1 million people could die from the current COVID outbreak in China. Analyzes by other modeling groups predict as many as 2.1 million deaths.

Airfinity estimates that regions where cases are currently rising may see two peaks of 3.7 million per day in mid-January and 4.2 million per day in other states in March. ing.

Infections are now rising fastest in Beijing and the southern province of Guangdong, the company said.

According to its website, it built “the world’s first purpose-built COVID-19 health analytics and intelligence platform” in 2020 and is now a trusted source of information for decision makers and the media worldwide.

A leading Chinese medical expert said this week that only deaths from pneumonia and respiratory failure after contracting COVID would be classified as due to the coronavirus.

Dr. Louise Blair, Airfinity’s Head of Vaccines and Epidemiology, said the change would “unlike other countries that record deaths within the time frame of a positive test,[and]could downplay the extent of deaths seen in China.” has potential,” he said.

(Reporting by Martin Quinn Pollard; Writing by Liz Lee; Editing by John Stonestreet)