The question of the moment: what does the increase or decrease in the number of deaths from Covid mean in China?

Two years after the outbreak of the Covid epidemic, the spread of a new wave in China recently raised questions about the way in which authorities are counting on the number of deaths caused by the virus and on the continuing decline in these numbers compared to the high number of infections.

And Shanghai, the largest Chinese city, has recorded 190 deaths out of over 520,000 infections in about two months, a very low percentage compared to those caused by the mutated Micron in other parts of the world.

The ruling Communist Party of China may have released these figures as proof of the success of its rigorous strategy to fight the virus, but experts say the data alone don’t reveal the full picture.

Shanghai, the most affected city among Chinese cities in the current wave of the Crown, has recorded a death rate of 0.036%, or 36 deaths per 100,000 infected, since March 1.

China had managed to fight the virus outbreak locally, down to a few infections, before the latest wave appeared. However, the death toll is low compared to other countries whose efforts are commended in this sense.

“If the death rate in Shanghai had been similar to that of New Zealand, which is 0.07 percent of the current Omicron wave, it would have recorded more than 300 deaths,” Michael Baker, professor of public health at the Otago University in New York. Zealand, he told AFP.

China has recorded less than five thousand deaths with Covid, despite monitoring nearly 200 thousand cases with symptoms, and more than 470 thousand cases without symptoms, since the outbreak of the epidemic.

One explanation for the low budget may be that China is “too rigid in classifying Covid-related deaths,” Tambia told AFP. The Chinese Health Commission told AFP that the result counts people infected with Covid, who die before they recover from the disease.

This leaves the possibility of excluding from the death toll patients who were mainly infected with latent diseases exacerbated by the disease, if they died of those diseases after being officially registered on the list of the healed.

Another factor could be related to the strict policies of test of China, which could reveal more infections than countries like India, which have faced a shortage of test.

However, “there is a permanent gap between the observed and recorded cases on the one hand, and the people who get sick and die as a result of their injury.”