WHO recommends China to monitor excess covid-19 deaths – Times of India

LONDON/GENEVA: The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday it is recommending China monitor excess deaths from Covid-19 to get a more complete picture of the impact of the surge in cases there.
China said on Saturday that nearly 60,000 people with Covid-19 had died in hospital since it abandoned its zero-Covid policy last month, a big jump from the numbers it reported before facing international criticism of its Covid-19 data.
“The WHO recommends monitoring excess mortality, which gives us a better understanding of the impact of Covid-19,” the UN agency told Reuters in a statement when asked about China.
“This is especially important during peak periods when the health system is severely curtailed.”
The WHO added that there was no set time for another meeting with Chinese officials after the WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus spoke to Ma Xiaowei, director of China’s National Health Commissionover the weekend, but that it would continue to work with China to provide advice and support.
After criticizing Beijing for not being forthright about the magnitude of the outbreak, the WHO said on Saturday that Chinese authorities had provided it with information about hospital deaths and outpatient care that allowed a better understanding of the situation.
Lawrence Gostin, a professor at Georgetown Law in Washington, D.C., who closely follows the WHO, said China’s decision to release more data was due to “prodding from the WHO.”
“It’s refreshing to get more accurate death counts,” he said. “But it would be even more important to get full GSD (genetic sequence data) of the circulating virus in China. That’s really the big global concern.”

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