Thursday, July 25, 2024
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China’s Zhejiang provincial government deletes Covid-19 mortality data after numbers show over 70% increase in cremations in the first quarter

About 171,000 cremations were recorded in Zhejiang from January to March this year as compared to 99,000 cremations recorded in the same period last year and 91,000 deaths in same period in 2021.

China has reportedly deleted the mortality data of one of its most populated provinces, which included the Covid-19 death toll too. The data shed light on Zhejiang’s heavy death toll from Beijing’s relaxation of Covid-19 controls at the end of 2022. The numbers indicate that nearly as many people have died in the province alone this year as had died in the entire mainland in the entire pandemic period.

Cremations in the Zhejiang province jumped by 73% in the first quarter year-on-year. About 171,000 cremations were recorded in Zhejiang from January to March this year as compared to 99,000 cremations recorded in the same period last year and 91,000 deaths in same period in 2021.

Beijing said around 80,000 people died from Covid across the country in the first two months after restrictions were eased. Zhejiang province’s data has been taken down ever since and numbers of the fourth quarter are also reportedly not available.

China’s Ministry of civil affairs responsible for collating death statistics has not published nationwide cremation data of the same period. The World Health Organisation in January this year said that China’s Covid-19 data fails to provide an accurate picture of the situation in the country and underrepresents the number of deaths and hospitalisations resulting from the virus.

Zhejiang province authorities reportedly withdrew the information by Monday as the data began to garner attention on Chinese social media.

On 7th December 2022, China lifted its pandemic control measures allowing home quarantine for Covid close contacts and scrapping the Covid test rule in most public venues. Merely a week later, cases began to surge in Beijing at an alarming rate even as the Chinese National Health Commission stopped releasing Covid case counts.

China stopped reporting any deaths since 4th December even as crematoriums were falling short of space and resources as bodies continued to pile up across hospitals.

Following this, WHO sought more transparency from China on its covid data accusing it of hiding the real number of deaths.

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