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China’s Covid Deaths Expected to Surge to 36,000 a Day Over Lunar New Year

  • Airfinity boosts China’s expected death rate by 11,000 a day
  • Findings suggest a significant health burden in next fortnight
Body bags lay on gurneys at the back entrance of a funeral home in Shanghai, on Dec. 31, 2022.
Body bags lay on gurneys at the back entrance of a funeral home in Shanghai, on Dec. 31, 2022.Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

China is likely to see 36,000 Covid deaths a day during the Lunar New Year holidays, making it one of the most deadly periods of the pandemic, according to an updated analysis of the largest outbreak the world has yet experienced. 

The revised figures from the independent forecasting firm Airfinity Ltd. added 11,000 deaths a day to its Dec. 29 estimate, a jump that shows the breathtaking pace of the outbreak and the lack of clear information about how it’s spreading in the world’s most populous nation. The update is based on data from China’s regional provinces combined with rates seen in other Covid Zero countries after they first lifted restrictions, the London-based research firm said.