China records the first death from the Corona virus in more than a year

People line up amid snowfall at a mobile nucleic acid testing site, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Beijing, China, March 18, 2022. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

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SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) – Mainland China on Saturday reported its first COVID-19 death in more than a year, according to a post on the National Health Commission’s website that said two people had died in the northeastern Jilin region.

China reported only two deaths from the coronavirus in 2021, with the last death on January 25.

The state maintains a “dynamic clearance” approach aimed at cutting transmission as quickly as possible, using strict measures such as short, targeted lockdowns and rapid testing schemes where cases are found. Read more

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The Jilin region, which borders North Korea and Russia, made up more than two-thirds of the local infections in the latest wave. Read more

Jiao Yahui, a senior official with the National Health Commission, said one of the dead had not been vaccinated. Jiao told reporters in Beijing that the direct cause of death for the two victims was the underlying diseases, while the symptoms of Covid were mild.

One of the victims was 87 and the other was 65, according to The Paper, a publication run by the Shanghai government.

Jiao said more than 95% of the nearly 30,000 people hospitalized with COVID in China have mild or no symptoms.

The latest deaths brought the cumulative toll in China to 4,638. China reported 2,228 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Friday, down from 2,416 the day before.

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Of the new cases, 2,157 were locally transmitted, compared with 2,388 the day before, 78% of which appeared in Jilin while others were found in southeastern Fujian Province, southern Guangdong Province and other places.

The total of new asymptomatic cases, which China counts separately from confirmed cases, was 1,823, compared to 1,904 the day before. As of Friday, mainland China had a cumulative total of 128,462 confirmed cases.

The deaths quickly became one of the most popular topics on Chinese social media. The phrase “two new coronavirus deaths in Jilin” was prominent on China’s Twitter-like platform Weibo, with many users hoping for more information about the two victims.

One social media user said, “Why is this happening?” Details must be disclosed in a timely manner. “

Others expressed their support for China’s dynamic clearance policy and criticized talk of opening up.

Another person on Weibo said: “Herd immunity, even opening up to allow people to exercise, that’s not going to work.”

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Additional reporting by Zhang Yan and Engin Tham in Shanghai and Roxanne Liu in Beijing; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan, Kenneth Maxwell, William Mallard and Edmund Kelman

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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