WHO: China Providing Vague Covid-19 Data Under-Representing True Impact Of Outbreak

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday slammed the Chinese government of providing unreal COVID-19 data, warning that official statistics were not showing the true impact of the outbreak, reported The Guardian.

There has been a steep increase in the number of new Covid-19 cases in China since last month when the government abruptly abandoned its zero-Covid policy in response to social unrest late last year.

“We believe the current numbers being published from China underrepresent the true impact of the disease in terms of hospital admissions, in terms of ICU admissions, particularly in terms of death,” said Mike Ryan, WHO’s emergencies director.

He told a briefing in Geneva that the WHO believes the Chinese government’s definition for death is too narrow.

“We still do not have complete data,” said Ryan.

China has only reported 22 Covid deaths since December and also narrowed the criteria for classifying COVID-19 fatalities.

Ryan said that the UN health body believes that the definition is too narrow, pointing out that the definition Beijing is using “requires a respiratory failure” associated with an infection for a death to be registered as a death due to Covid-19.

The WHO official stressed that it was crucial to have accurate information about how the Covid-19 virus was spreading and the true impact it was having.

“We do not discourage doctors and nurses reporting these deaths and these cases,” Ryan said adding that “We have an open approach to be able to record the actual impact of disease in society.”

He recognised that China had stepped up its engagement with the WHO in recent weeks, and said that the health organization is looking forward to receiving more comprehensive data.

Notably, a number of countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Japan and India have introduced fresh Covid-19 restrictions on visitors from China.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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