China on Sunday announced its first new death from COVID-19 in nearly half a year as new stringent measures were introduced in Beijing and across the country to contain new outbreaks.
The death of the 87-year-old Beijing man was the first reported by the National Health Commission since May 26, bringing the total number of deaths to 5,227. Deaths had previously been reported in Shanghai, which experienced a large spring spike in cases.
China on Sunday announced 24,215 new cases detected in the previous 24 hours, the majority of them asymptomatic.
Although China has an overall vaccination rate of more than 92% having received at least one dose, the number is significantly lower among the elderly, especially those over 80 years old, at just 65%. . The commission did not provide details on the vaccination status of the latest deceased.
That loophole is considered one of the reasons why China has mostly closed its borders and is stick with its rigid “no COVID” policy seeks to wipe out infections through blockade, isolation, case tracking and mass testing, despite the impact on normal life and the economy and increasing public outrage for the government.
China says its tough approach has resulted in a much lower number of infections and deaths than other countries, such as the US.
With a population of 1.4 billion, China has officially reported only 286,197 cases since the virus was first detected in central China. city of Wuhan at the end of 2019. This compares to 98.3 million cases and 1 million deaths in the United States, with a population of 331.9 million, since the virus first emerged. in 2020.
However, China’s figures have been questioned, given the ruling Communist Party’s long-standing reputation for manipulating statistics, the lack of outside scrutiny, and the highly subjective criteria for determining statistics. determine the cause of death.
Unlike in other countries, deaths of patients with COVID-19 symptoms are often attributed to underlying medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, obscuring the true number of deaths from the virus and close to as inevitably leads to the lack of statistics.
Critics specifically pointed to this year’s outbreak in Shanghai. The city of more than 25 million people has reported only about 20 coronavirus deaths despite the outbreak lasting more than two months and infecting hundreds of thousands of people in the world’s third-largest city.
China has also defied advice from the World Health Organization to adopt a more targeted prevention strategy. Beijing has rejected calls to fully cooperate with the investigation into the origins of the virus, angrily dismissing suggestions that it may have leaked from a Wuhan lab, instead looking how to transfer those accusations to the US military.
In any case, the party’s instincts to exercise full control—even to use periodic checks to limit citizen activity—won, with only small concessions to the Criticism is made on heavily censored internet forums.
Responding to the latest outrage, the central city of Zhengzhou said on Sunday it would no longer require negative COVID-19 tests for infants under the age of 3 and other “special groups” that are search. health care.
The Zhengzhou city government’s announcement came after the death of a second child was blamed on overzealous anti-virus enforcement. A 4-month-old baby girl died after vomiting and diarrhea while being isolated at a hotel in Zhengzhou.
Reports say her father took 11 hours to get help after health care worker refused to provide assistance and she was eventually sent to a hospital 100 km (60 miles) away. Internet users expressed anger at “zero COVID” and demanded that officials in Zhengzhou be punished for not helping the public.
That followed an earlier outcry against a 3-year-old boy. death from carbon monoxide poisoning in the northwest. His father blamed medical staff in Lanzhou City, who he said tried to stop him from taking his son to the hospital.
Other cases include a pregnant woman who suffered a miscarriage after being denied admission to a hospital in the city of Xi’an and forced to sit outside in the cold for hours.
Clashes between authorities and citizens fed up with restrictions have been reported in many cities despite tight control of information. A new round of mass testing has been ordered in the Huizhu district in the southern manufacturing hub of Guangzhou, which has seen such frictions regarding migrant workers local government said on its official microblog on Sunday.
Each of these cases has yielded promises from the party — most recently last week — that people in quarantine or those unable to test negative won’t be blocked from getting emergency help. .
However, the party often finds itself unable to contain the stringent and often unauthorized measures imposed by local officials, who fear losing their jobs or being prosecuted if the epidemic breaks out in parts of the country. their authority.
Nearly three years into the pandemic, while the rest of the world has largely opened up and the impact on China’s economy grows, Beijing has mostly closed its borders and discouraged travel. even domestically.
In the capital Beijing, people were asked not to travel between districts in the city and a large number of restaurants, shops, malls, office buildings and apartment complexes were closed or isolated. glass. Local and international schools in the inner-city districts of the city of 21 million people have been moved online.
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quote: China reports its first death from COVID-19 in nearly 6 months (2022, November 20) taken on November 20, 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-11-china -1st-covid-death-months.html
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