China reports first COVID-19 death in more than a year

China’s National Health Authority has reported two COVID-19 deaths, the first in a record number of deaths since January 2021, as the country battles Omicron-powered waves.

BEIJING – China’s National Health Authority on Saturday reported two COVID-19 deaths, the first in a record number of deaths since January 2021, as the country battled Omicron-driven waves.

China on Saturday reported 2,157 new COVID-19 cases from community transmissions, most of them in Jilin. The province has imposed a travel ban, where people need police permission to travel across the border.

Since the initial outbreak in Uhan, China has been successful, if not under the “zero-covid” strategy. The strategy focuses on mass testing and strict lockdowns, prohibiting residents from leaving their homes until all new cases have been found through quarantine or contact search.

In practice, this means that the country has seen relatively few infections from the virus because clusters are taken down as soon as they are discovered. The strategy has gained public support and prevented large numbers of deaths in other countries, many of which have begun to abandon any form of social distance.

Since the outbreak of the epidemic in central city Wuhan in late 2019, 4,636 deaths have been recorded in China. It revised its death toll once in April 2020, adding new deaths that were not initially counted as the epidemic overwhelmed the city’s hospitals and other systems.

The COVID-19 data from mainland China is calculated separately from Hong Kong, which is a special administrative region of China and faces many large outbreaks, including high death toll.

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