Beijing, December 29 (Reuters) – About 9,000 people in China are likely to die each day from COVID-19, UK-based health data firm Airfinity said on Thursday, nearly doubling its forecast from a week ago as infections spread globally. populous nations.
COVID infections began spreading across China in November and intensified this month after Beijing scrapped zero-tolerance policies, including regular PCR testing of the population and the release of data on asymptomatic cases.
Total number of deaths in China since December 1. likely reached 100,000, bringing the total number of infections to 18.6 million, Airfinity said in a statement. It is said to be using simulations based on data from Chinese provinces before implementing the latest changes to case reporting.
Airfinity expects the number of COVID infections in China to reach its first peak on January 13. – 3.7 million cases per day.
That’s in contrast to the several thousand cases reported by health authorities a day after a nationwide network of PCR testing sites was dismantled as authorities moved to prevent and treat infections.
Airfinity expects the death toll to peak on January 23. will reach about 25,000 per day, bringing the total number of deaths since December to 584,000.
Authorities have reported 10 COVID-19 deaths since China made a sharp policy shift on Dec. 7.
Health officials recently said a death from COVID is someone who dies of respiratory failure caused by COVID-19, excluding deaths from other diseases and conditions, even if the deceased tested positive for the virus.
December 28 China’s official COVID death toll stands at 5,246 since the pandemic began in 2020.
Airfinity predicts 1.7 million deaths across China by the end of April.
According to its website, in 2020 it has created “the world’s first dedicated COVID-19 health analytics and intelligence platform.”
Wu Zunyou, China’s chief epidemiologist, said Thursday that a team at China’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to look at the death toll differently.
The team will estimate the difference between the number of deaths in the current wave of infections and the number of deaths expected if the epidemic had never occurred, Wu told reporters at a briefing.
By calculating so-called “excess mortality,” China could find out what might have been underestimated, Wu said.
Reporting by Ryan Woo and Joe Cash; Edited by Emelia Sithole-Matarise
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