“In the process of infectious disease prevention and control, one of the key points is to seek the truth from the facts, to openly and transparently disclose information about the epidemic, and to never allow to cover or to under-report, ”said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang Friday meeting of the State Council, Chinese cabinet.
China, a country of 1.4 billion people, has reported an average of 109 new cases per day over the past week, according to a New York Times database. The numbers would be welcome in much worse countries – including the United States, which averages over 250,000 new cases a day – but they are the worst in China since last summer.
China’s National Health Commission has not reported any new deaths, but the World Health Organization, which uses information from China, has registered 12 so far in 2021. The National Health Commission did not respond to requests for an explanation of the discrepancy.
In Hebei, the province where the new epidemic was concentrated, authorities last week declared a “state of war” that shows no sign of abating soon.
Throughout the pandemic, officials have been particularly concerned about Beijing, the seat of the Communist Party’s central leadership. Last week, party secretary in Hebei Wang Dongfeng pledged to make the province “the ditch to safeguard Beijing’s political security.”