WHO: China underreporting COVID cases, deaths

The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised concerns about the accuracy of COVID-19 data from China, citing the Chinese government's "too narrow" definition of death. WHO emergencies director Mike Ryan said the agency still does not have complete data and is preparing to meet Chinese scientists on Thursday as part of a wider briefing among member states on the global COVID-19 situation.

China is racing to contain a new wave of infections, and experts have predicted at least one million COVID-related deaths in the country this year. According to WHO guidelines, deaths should be attributed to COVID-19 if they result from a clinically compatible illness in a patient with a probable or confirmed infection.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has expressed concern about the surge in COVID-19 infections in China and called for Beijing to provide data on hospitalisations and death in real-time. He has urged China to increase vaccination rates, people to wear masks to protect themselves from infection, and warned of a possible new wave of COVID-19 infections in the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year.

In light of these concerns, many countries have rolled out restrictions for travellers from China. The WHO continues to monitor the situation and is working with China to provide accurate data and develop effective strategies to contain the virus.


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