Analysis – How accurate are China’s death rates according to COVID-19?

Read Time:4 Minute, 2 Second

Nancy Lapid and David Stanway

(Reuters) – China’s narrow criteria to identify deaths from COVID-19 in China will underestimate the true extent of the pandemic’s current waves and could make communication more difficult, warn foreign experts in health.

According to a Chinese medical expert, only COVID-related deaths such as pneumonia or respiratory failure will be considered coronavirus-related.

Wang Guiqiang of Peking University’s infectious disease department, stated that deaths from complications at other locations in the body, such as underlying conditions made worse due to the virus, will not be included in the official death toll.

Experts who are familiar with Chinese hospital protocols told Reuters that COVID is not always excluded. However, sometimes it would be ruled out as a reason for death if a patient who had been positive before died was negative.

Wang explained that the Omicron variant is less likely than other life-threatening symptoms to change the criteria. However, China’s hospitals must still judge each case in order to determine whether COVID was the final cause.

In the three years that have passed since the pandemic, the methods used to count COVID deaths vary across countries.

However, experts from outside China warn that this approach could miss many other potentially fatal COVID complications. These include blood clots, heart attacks, sepsis, and kidney failure.

Certain complications can increase your chances of dying at home, especially if you aren’t aware of the need to seek medical attention.

Dr. Aaron Glatt is an infectious disease expert at Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital, New York. He also serves as spokesperson for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. “It is scientifically incorrect to say that you will ignore any other activity in the body.”

According to Korean researchers, 33% of Omicron-related death in Omicron between July 2021 & March 2022 at a large hospital were not due to pneumonia.

CAN CHINA’S COVID-DATA BE TRUSTED

China has one of the lowest COVID death rates in the world. This is why it has been repeatedly accused of downplaying deaths and infections for political purposes.

A June 2020 study of the outbreak that broke out in Wuhan late in 2019 revealed that 36,000 people could have been killed, a figure 10 times higher than the official estimate.

The Lancet published an April study that looked at COVID-related deaths in 74 countries over 2020-2021. This was in comparison to the official death toll of 4,820.

The study found that 18.2 million people died more than 5.94 million in COVID deaths.

China’s latest announcement raised concerns that the government was trying to hide the true effect of loosening its “zero COVID” controls, nearly three years after a series of disruptive lockdowns.

Despite widespread reports that crematoriums or funeral homes are experiencing difficulties in meeting increased demand, China’s official death statistics have not increased. Since Dec. 8, the government announced that no COVID restrictions would be lifted, there have been only seven deaths.

China actually reduced its death toll by one, Dec. 20, taking it to 5,241.

China’s National Health Commission didn’t immediately respond to inquiries about excess mortality and COVID statistics.

Even if China continued to define COVID deaths in a more broad way, it is unlikely that the official data will reflect the actual situation, Chen Jiming, a medical researcher at China’s Foshan University, stated.

He stated that “the reported cases and deaths are only one-fifth of the true values.”

Ben Cowling, an epidemiologist from the University of Hong Kong’s School of Public Health said that the official death toll would be very low, even if a wider definition was used, “because so few testing is being done now that China has stopped mass surveillance.”

Cowling stated that if every person who was positive for COVID died, it could be a mistake to label them all as having died of the disease. This approach can be criticised for including coincidental deaths, such as those who were hit by buses while suffering mild COVID.

Dr. Mai He, a Washington University pathologist who participated in the Wuhan study, stated that there is still doubt about the reliability of China’s numbers.

“The persistent critical issue” is a lack in transparency. He stated that people cannot use their data to conduct research and analyze, or provide guidance for the next step.

According to Victoria Fan, senior fellow in global healthcare at the Center for Global Development, panic is also caused by a lack of trust in China’s statistics.

She stated that it was in the government’s best interests to make information more accessible because the public exhibits a lot of behaviors because they don’t have the right information.

(Reporting by David Stanway, Nancy Lapid, and Julie Steenhuysen, in Shanghai and Chicago respectively; editing by Michele Gershberg and Sandra Maler, and Lincoln Feast.

Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %
Previous post Wavve buys KOCOWA – Specialty Streamer of Korean Content from the Americas
Next post Third-Party Operating platforms are dedicated to digital upgrade of sub-scenarios