Biden worries about China’s COVID response after WHO questions data

  • WHO says China underreports hospitalizations, deaths
  • Overcrowded hospitals, official data at odds with morgues
  • EU recommends border controls for Chinese travelers
  • Asian stocks rise on hopes China’s reopening will spur growth

BEIJING/HEBRON, Kentucky (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden said hours after the World Health Organization (WHO) said it had underreported the number of deaths from the novel coronavirus, China’s He expressed concern about the response to the spread of coronavirus infection. Beijing on Thursday.

The United States is one of more than a dozen countries to impose restrictions on travelers from China after last month scrapping stringent COVID controls that had protected its 1.4 billion population from the virus for three years.

Global health authorities are currently trying to deal with the outbreak. Hospitals fill up, some funeral homes overwhelmedinconsistent with China’s official virus death toll.

World Health Organization (WHO) emergency director Mike Ryan said at a media briefing on Wednesday that current figures released from China underestimate hospitalizations, intensive care unit patients and deaths. Said there was

Hours later, Mr Biden said he was worried about how China was handling the outbreak.

During a visit to Kentucky, he told reporters, “They’re very nervous… they’re not as close as we’d suggest.”

The WHO’s comments on the lack of data are among the most significant to date and could draw a critical reaction from Beijing when it holds its regular foreign ministry press conference on Thursday.

There was no immediate coverage of statements by Biden or the WHO in Chinese state media on Thursday.The government has downplayed the seriousness of the situation in recent days.

The state-run Global Times said in an article on Wednesday that COVID infections had peaked in several cities, including the capital Beijing, citing interviews with doctors.

China reported one new death from COVID-19 on the mainland on Wednesday, bringing the official death toll to 5,259, compared with five the day before.

Asian market expectations

China, which has one of the lowest death tolls from COVID in the world, has been routinely accused of under-reporting infections and deaths for political reasons.

Chinese health officials have said only deaths from pneumonia and respiratory failure in patients infected with the virus are classified as deaths from COVID.

Since the pandemic first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, countries have differed in how they count COVID deaths.

yet Disease specialists outside China That approach would miss several other widely recognized types of deadly COVID complications, from blood clots to heart attacks, sepsis and kidney failure, he said.

International health experts predict at least 1 million COVID-related deaths in China this year without urgent action. UK-based health data company Airfinity estimates that about 9,000 people are probably dying from her COVID every day in China.

A surge in COVID infections is hitting demand in China’s $17 trillion economy, according to a private sector survey on Thursday. Service activity reduced in December.

But Investor He remains optimistic that the dismantling of China’s coronavirus measures will ultimately help restore growth to its lowest level in nearly half a century.These hopes are seen as boosting Asian stock markets (.MIAPJ0000PUS) on thursday.

“The resumption of economic activity in China will have a significant impact globally,” said Joan Goh, an investment strategist at DBS Bank in Singapore.

“There will be problems along the way,” Mr. Goh said in a outlook presentation to reporters. “It takes six months to fit the process. But I don’t think it can be undone.”

China’s yuan has stabilized near four-month highs against the dollar.

test waste

As countries seek to learn more about the extent and severity of the outbreak in China, several countries are requiring travelers from China to be tested for COVID.

European Union officials on Wednesday advised that passengers heading from China to the Block of 27 Member States must test negative for COVID-19 before beginning travel.

Officials also called for testing and sequencing of wastewater from planes arriving from China and at airports handling international flights, among other measures.

China has criticized border controls imposed on its citizens by other countries as unreasonable and unscientific.

China will no longer require inbound travelers to quarantine from 8 January, but will continue to require them to undergo a COVID test prior to arrival.

The government said on Thursday that the border with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region We will reopen on Sundaythree years ago.

Hong Kong residents Clinics flooded to receive vaccinations Some fear a spike in infections in financial hubs.

Reporting by Liz Lee and Bernard Orr of Beijing, Tom Westbrook of Singapore and Steve Holland of Hebron, Kentucky. Written by John Geddy.Editing by Robert Barthel

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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