The World Health Organization has called on China to continue publishing information on its wave of Covid-19 infections after the government announced nearly 60,000 deaths since early December following weeks of complaints that it is not couldn’t tell the world what was going on.
Saturday’s announcement was the first official tally since the ruling Communist Party abruptly dropped virus restrictions in December despite a rise in infections that flooded hospitals. That left the WHO and other governments asking for information, while the United States, South Korea and others imposed controls on visitors from China.
The government said 5,503 people died of respiratory failure caused by Covid-19 and there were 54,435 deaths from cancer, heart disease and other conditions associated with Covid-19 between the December 8 and January 12.
The announcement “provides a better understanding of the epidemiological situation”, according to a statement from the WHO. He said that the Director General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesusspoke by telephone with Health Minister Ma Xiaowei.
“WHO has requested that this type of detailed information continue to be shared with us and the public,” the agency said.
The National Health Commission said only deaths in hospitals were counted, meaning anyone who died at home would not be included. He gave no indication when or if he might release updated figures.
A health official said the “national emergency peak has passed” based on an 83% drop in the daily number of people visiting fever clinics from the December 23 peak.
The report would more than double China’s official Covid-19 death toll to 10,775 since the disease was first detected in the central city of Wuhan end of 2019. China only counted deaths from pneumonia or respiratory failure in its official toll, which rules out many deaths that could be attributed to the virus in other countries.

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