China will publish COVID-19 data once a month, under Category B disease management

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China will eventually publish data on COVID-19 cases once a month when the disease comes under Category B management, an official at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday.

China’s management of COVID-19 was downgraded to the less strict Category B from the current top-level Category A, as the disease has become less virulent and will gradually evolve into a common respiratory infection.

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Official statistics, however, showed only one COVID-19 death in the seven days to Monday, fuelling doubts among health experts and residents about the government's data. The numbers are inconsistent with the experience of much less populous countries after they re-opened.

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Doctors say hospitals are overwhelmed with five- to six-times more patients than usual, most of them elderly. International health experts estimate millions of daily infections and predict at least one million COVID-19 deaths in China next year.

Nevertheless, authorities are determined to dismantle the last vestiges of their zero COVID-19 policies.

Read more: China’s Xi urges steps to ‘protect’ lives as China lifts COVID-19 curbs

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