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China’s Covid Deaths Data Questioned as Tally Lags Other Nations

  • Country has only reported two deaths weeks into worst outbreak
  • World’s best vaccinated nations see far greater fatality rates
A medical worker swabs a resident during Covid-19 testing in a neighborhood placed under lockdown in Shanghai, China, on April 12.

A medical worker swabs a resident during Covid-19 testing in a neighborhood placed under lockdown in Shanghai, China, on April 12.

Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Almost two months into China’s worst Covid-19 outbreak, the vast country has reported only two deaths -- a striking number that’s the subject of growing debate because it appears to best even nations with higher vaccination rates.

China reported more than 386,000 cases in the first six weeks of its latest outbreak, giving it a fatality rate of about 0.5 for every 100,000 people infected through April 13. The deaths both occurred in the northeastern province of Jilin, while financial hub Shanghai, now the epicenter of the country’s outbreak with a record 27,719 cases on Thursday, hasn’t reported any so far.