China claims 83,150 of its citizens have died since the Covid-19 pandemic began in late December 2019; epidemiologists believe the total is far higher.
In December 2022, China relaxed its strict “Zero Covid” restrictions and saw an explosion in cases and deaths.
However, China’s official Covid-19 death toll (as of February 9, 2023) stands at 83,150 people – making it the lowest death rate per capita of any major country.
This seems unlikely, due partly to China only counting deaths in hospitals and for a long time only counting Covid deaths caused by respiratory failure – discounting other causes such as liver, kidney, or cardiac failure.
Epidemiologists have been working to piece together a realistic tally based on various aspects of China’s response to the pandemic and believe the true figure is likely between 1 million and 1.5 million casualties.