“From today, we will no longer publish daily information on the epidemic,” the NHC said, without giving an explanation for its policy shift.
But the end of strict testing mandates has made caseloads virtually impossible to track, while authorities have narrowed the medical definition of a Covid death in a move experts say will suppress the number of fatalities attributable to the virus.
“The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will publish information about the outbreak for reference and research purposes,” the NHC said, without specifying the type or frequency of data to be published by the CDC.
“Are there crematorium workers here? Are you overloaded? Can you talk about it?” another Weibo user wrote.
While state media has largely ignored the surge of bodies arriving at crematoriums, they have, to some extent, said hospitals are under stress from an influx of patients and a shortage of anti-fever drugs.
Official statistics have also been undermined by the new methodological shift, under which only people who have died directly from Covid-related respiratory failure are counted as being killed by the virus.
China has announced only six Covid-19 deaths since its pandemic restrictions were lifted.