China reports 60,000 COVID-related deaths, says peak passed
BEIJING (AP) — China on Saturday reported nearly 60,000 deaths in people who had COVID-19 since early December, offering hard numbers for an unprecedented surge that was apparent in overcrowded hospitals and packed crematoriums, even as the government released little data about the status of the pandemic for weeks. Those numbers may still underestimate the toll, though the government said the “emergency peak" of its latest surge appears to have passed. The toll included 5,503 deaths due to respiratory failure caused by COVID-19 and 54,435 fatalities from other ailments combined with COVID-19 since Dec. 8, the National Health Commission announced. It said those “deaths related to COVID” occurred in hospitals, which means anyone who died at home would not be included in the numbers.