News “No new option, but China doesn’t share enough information.” Last Minute WORLD, CURRENT headlines and events

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After meeting with Chinese scientists, the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that Beijing had not provided accurate information about the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the country. However, the data presented showed that the new variant had not yet emerged.

While COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in the world’s second largest economy, the United Nations agency decided to meet with Chinese scientists again tomorrow to brief member countries.

The data presented by China’s leading scientists to the WHO technical advisory delegation showed that in a country of 1 billion 400 million people, a new variant of the Corona virus has not yet been encountered.

This is expected to ease some of the concerns raised by a resurgence in the epidemic after Beijing abruptly abandoned its zero-COVID policy.

“We believe that the latest figures released by China do not reflect the true impact of the disease in terms of hospitalizations, intensive care and deaths,” WHO emergency chief Mike Ryan said.

Ryan told a press conference in Geneva that the WHO believes the Chinese government’s definition of death from COVID is “too narrow”.

Ryan added that the data they have is not yet complete.

Late last month, China, the world’s most populous country, announced that it had narrowed down the definition of COVID-19-related death to only consider deaths from pneumonia and respiratory diseases as COVID-19-related. Medical professionals around the world took this with skepticism.

The WHO considers a death to be attributed to COVID-19 if the death is due to a “clinically compatible disease” in a patient with probable or confirmed infection and there is no other cause of death such as trauma.

China has reported 5 or fewer deaths a day since it lifted its zero COVID policy. But many funeral homes and hospitals are complaining of overcrowding, and international health experts say at least 1 million COVID deaths are expected in China this year if action is not taken.

Abdi Rahman Mahamud, WHO head of alert and response, warned that families would gather for the Chinese New Year holiday in a few weeks and a new wave of infections could emerge.

Mahamud noted that vaccination rates should increase and people should wear masks to protect themselves.

However, the WHO reiterated its estimate of the large number of deaths.

WHO spokeswoman Maria van Kerkhove said that preventing deaths depends on existing measures, and noted that WHO is working with China on issues such as access to life-saving supplies and addressing health sector challenges in areas where the epidemic is effective.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also urged China to quickly and regularly share information on hospitalizations, deaths and real-time gene sequencing.

Tedros said the WHO is concerned that life in China is at risk and stresses the importance of vaccination in the face of severe illness and death, including booster doses.

Tedros noted that the virus is very common in China and there is no comprehensive flow of information, so it is understandable that some countries are taking measures such as testing passengers to protect their citizens.

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