A US Study Reveals Over 2 Million Excess Deaths in China Following the “Zero-Covid” Phase

A US study conducted by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle has revealed that there were almost 2 million excess deaths in China in the two months after the country lifted its strict “zero-Covid” restrictions in December 2022. This contradicts the official figures provided by the Chinese government, which reported around 60,000 Covid-related deaths during the same period. The excess deaths observed were predominantly among individuals aged 30 and older and were attributed to the rapid spread of the highly transmissible omicron variant after the government lifted its restrictions.

China’s “zero-Covid” policies, including mass testing, border closures, and citywide lockdowns, had kept Covid cases and deaths low throughout much of the pandemic. However, the abrupt lifting of these restrictions exposed a population of 1.4 billion people to the virus, resulting in a wave of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.

The study estimated the excess deaths by analyzing obituaries published by Chinese universities and conducting internet searches for terms related to burial and cremation. The researchers emphasized that the study provides an empirically derived estimate of the impact of the sudden propagation of Covid-19 across a population.

The findings of the study align with estimates from other researchers, suggesting that the official data significantly underreported the death toll. Chinese officials have been criticized for lack of transparency and withholding Covid data, while they maintain that they are analyzing excess deaths and will provide a more accurate assessment of the death toll at a later date.