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WHO tells China to share Covid-19 data in real-time

The WHO has told Chinese officials to regularly share specific and real-time data on the Covid-19 pandemic as Beijing eases the world's strictest Covid-19 lockdown.

HQ Team

December 31, 2022: The WHO has told Chinese officials to regularly share specific and real-time data on the Covid-19 pandemic as Beijing eases the world’s strictest Covid-19 lockdown.

Officials from China and WHO experts met, and Beijing’s National Health Commission and the National Disease Control and Prevention Administration briefed the WHO on the epidemical situation in the country.

The WHO told the Chinese officials to provide more genetic sequencing data, and data on disease impact, including hospitalisations, intensive care unit admissions and deaths, according to a WHO statement.

The agency also asked for data on vaccinations delivered and vaccination status, especially in vulnerable people and those over 60 years old.

Monitoring variants

The officials gave a rundown on China’s evolving strategy and actions in epidemiology, monitoring of variants, vaccination, clinical care, communication, research, and development.

 WHO reiterated the importance of vaccination and boosters to protect against severe disease and death for people at higher risk, according to the statement.  

WHO called on China to strengthen viral sequencing, clinical management and impact assessment and expressed willingness to provide support in these areas and on risk communications on vaccination to counter hesitancy.

Chinese scientists are invited to engage more closely in WHO-led COVID-19 expert networks, including the COVID-19 clinical management network, according to the statement.

WHO invitation 

The WHO invited Chinese scientists to present detailed data on viral sequencing at a meeting of the Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution on January 3, 2023.

“WHO stressed the importance of monitoring and the timely publication of data to help China and the global community to formulate accurate risk assessments and to inform effective responses.”

China is easing its travel curbs, a series of lockdowns and extensive testing following protests against its strict zero-Covid-19 policy. It aims to put its battered economy back on the rails and is redoing for a complete re-opening next year.


The protests erupted in late November after at least ten people died in a building under quarantine in Urumqi in the western Xinjiang region.

The easing of restrictions has led to an explosion in cases across China, where trust in locally-developed vaccines is low. Vaccines such as the mRNA jabs by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are not approved by the country’s health authorities.

The scale of the outbreak and doubts over official data prompted the United States, India, Italy, Taiwan and Japan to impose new travel rules for Chinese visitors.

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