China says severe cases of covid-19 have peaked

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The number of Covid-19 patients needing intensive care in China‘s hospitals has peaked, health officials said on Thursday, as millions travel across the country for long-awaited reunions with families, increasing the fear of new outbreaks.

There has been widespread skepticism about China‘s official data on the disease since the country abruptly lifted a Covid-zero policy last month that protected China‘s 1.4 billion people from the disease for three years.

Last Saturday, China said nearly 60,000 people with Covid-19 had died in hospitals between Dec.

However, that number excludes those who die at home, and some doctors in China have said they are discouraged from putting Covid-19 on death certificates.

As travel surges, during the busy Lunar New Year holiday season, up to 36,000 people could die from the disease each day, according to the latest forecasts from UK-based health data firm Airfinity. Other experts predict that more than 1 million will die from the disease this year.

But a National Health Commission official told a news conference today that China had spent the peak period of Covid-19 patients in clinics, emergency rooms and with critical conditions.

The number of critically ill patients in hospitals was more than 40% lower on Jan. 17 than the peak seen on Jan. 5, an official said.

The new data came after President Xi Jinping expressed concern that rural areas were ill-equipped to deal with a surge in infections as the holiday, which officially starts on Jan. to their hometowns.

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Translated to english by RJ983

From Brazil, by EBC News

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