China reports first Covid deaths in over a year

i24NEWS

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A staff member standing inside the closed Jilin Railway Station in Jilin in China's northeastern Jilin province on May 13, 2020.
STR via AFPA staff member standing inside the closed Jilin Railway Station in Jilin in China's northeastern Jilin province on May 13, 2020.

China reported two deaths for the whole of 2021

China’s health authorities reported two coronavirus deaths on Saturday, the first since January 2021, as the country is battling its worst outbreak in two years driven by a surge in the highly infectious omicron variant.

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The deaths, both in northeastern Jilin province, bring the country’s coronavirus death toll to 4,638.

Both fatalities occurred in elderly patients and were the result of their underlying conditions, an official with the National Health Commission told journalists on Saturday. 

One of the deceased patients was not vaccinated for the virus.

The majority of new 2,157 community transmissions reported Saturday came from Jilin. The province has imposed a travel ban, with people needing permission from police to travel across borders.

Nationwide, China reported more than 29,000 confirmed cases since the beginning of March.

Throughout the pandemic that started in one of its provinces, China's communist leadership has touted the low reported death rate relative to other countries as evidence of the strength of its one-party rule.

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