The National Health Commission of China (NHC) has decided to stop publishing daily Covid-19 case figures after concerns were raised about the reliability of the data. This comes after millions have been infected across the country while the official total remains pretty low.
The commission announced the policy shift on Sunday (Dec 25), without offering an explanation, but did say that data related to Covid would be made available by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention for research and reference purposes.
The NHC’s estimates have been criticized due to reports from some Chinese towns of daily infection rates that vastly outpaced the official tally.
Zhejiang province, which borders Shanghai, said Sunday the city has more than 1 million daily Covid infections and anticipates the number to rise at 2 million.
Bloomberg cited minutes from an internal meeting of China’s National Health Commission conducted on Wednesday, which suggested that as many as 248 million people, or about 18% of the population, may have contracted the virus in the first 20 days of December. The crematoriums and hospitals in large cities like Beijing and Shanghai are at capacity.