China reported nearly 13,000 Covid-related deaths in hospitals between January 13 and 19, after a top health official said the vast majority of the population has already been infected by the virus.
China, a week earlier, said nearly 60,000 people had died with Covid in hospitals as of January 12, but there has been widespread scepticism over official data since Beijing abruptly axed anti-virus controls last month.
China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a statement on Saturday that 681 hospitalised patients had died of respiratory failure caused by coronavirus infection, and 11,977 had died of other diseases combined with an infection over the period.
Airfinity, an independent forecasting firm, has estimated daily Covid deaths in China will peak at around 36,000 over the Lunar New Year holiday.
The firm also estimated that more than 600,000 people have died from the disease since China abandoned the zero-Covid policy in December.
An official from the National Health Commission, Guo Yanhong told a news conference on Thursday that China has passed the peak period of Covid patients in fever clinics, emergency rooms and with critical conditions.