Almost 60,000 people have died with COVID-19 in China from 8 December to 12 January, according to the country’s National Health Commission (NHC).
These figures come following the country’s abandonment of its strict ‘zero-COVID’ policy and the reopening of its international border.
The World Health Organisation, which previously accused China of downplaying the severity of a new outbreak, welcomed the release of stronger COVID data.
China has been accused of being too narrow in its definition of COVID deaths. Previously, health officials only classified COVID deaths as people who died from respiratory failure caused by COVID.
The latest figures expanded this definition to include people who died with COVID and also had underlying diseases.
Over 90% of people who died during this period were reported to have died with another disease present.