Since the beginning of the corona pandemic, China has tried to take extremely restrictive action against the spread of the virus. If possible, ideally there should be no cases at all. If cases did occur, it had drastic effects: entire houses, cities or regions were cordoned off.
These harsh measures ultimately also led to the end of China's strict corona policy: After a fire broke out in a high-rise building in November and several people died, protests broke out on the streets of the Chinese province of Xinjiang and in Beijing. The suspicion: People could not escape from the burning building because it was under quarantine. Finally, the Chinese regime also gave in: The strict zero-Covid strategy with lockdowns, forced quarantine and mass tests was abruptly abandoned, allegedly because the omicron variant made the disease easier to progress.
The consequences: The viruses are now affecting a population that was previously hardly prepared for it by the protective measures, neither by natural antibodies nor by nationwide vaccinations. The infection took place extremely quickly: Beijing estimates that 80 percent of the population has been infected with the corona virus since December. The official bodies recently reported 13,000 deaths caused by Corona in one week, since December there were already 60,000 deaths.
According to research by the BBC in the Chinese province of Shanxi, the true numbers could be significantly higher. According to the BBC, only deaths in hospitals have been counted so far. In the villages in particular, however, people often die at home - and are therefore not included in the statistics. The BBC then found several pieces of evidence on site: among other things, villagers reported that coffins in his town were temporarily sold out. Elsewhere, the reporters found dealers who were just loading large paper cranes and Buddhist images into their cars - according to the dealers, the demand for this grave decoration is currently two to three times higher than usual.
It is unclear how high the death toll in China really is: there is not even an official estimate for the cases of people who died at home.
Sources: dpa, BBC