Is this China’s full covid data? Why the WHO is pushing for more.

The World Health Organization is ramping up pressure on China to share key data on its latest coronavirus outbreak, using public statements and behind-the-scenes meetings to

push Beijing as it tries to map the largest surge of the pandemic — even if it risks the government’s wrath. It is a stark contrast to the WHO’s approach in early 2020,

when its leader, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, praised China’s “transparency” on the new virus even as reports suggested Beijing had deliberately undercounted cases and silenced

whistleblowers. But the new approach might be paying off. On Saturday, China’s National Health Commission announced a significant revision of its data, raising the death

toll in hospitals since severe coronavirus restrictions were lifted in December from 37 to nearly 60,000. At the same time, Ma Xiaowei, director of China’s National

Health Commission, shared much of the same data with Tedros, according to a WHO readout of a call between them. WHO officials are unsure why China released the data now —

and in interviews were hesitant to take responsibility. The numbers appear to show an outbreak similar to the waves of omicron that washed over other countries a year ago. It also

suggests the new wave of infections had peaked — possibly reassuring news before the Lunar New Year, a period of intense holiday travel. China sharply revises death toll

linked to covid outbreak to 60,000 from 37 But there are also significant gaps, including in detailed regional data and information over time. It also lacks the detailed

genome sequencing that WHO and others have requested to track any new variants.