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WHO asks China for more data on respiratory illnesses outbreak

BEIJING: The World Health Organization has asked China for more data on respiratory illnesses spreading in the north of the country, but Beijing offered no public comment on Thursday (23rd of Nov, 2023).

Northern China has reported an increase in “influenza-like illness” since mid-October when compared to the same period in the previous three years, the WHO said.

“WHO has made an official request to China for detailed information on an increase in respiratory illnesses and reported clusters of pneumonia in children,” the UN health body said in a statement on Wednesday.

China’s National Health Commission told reporters last week that the respiratory illness spike was due to the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions and the circulation of known pathogens, namely influenza and common bacterial infections that affect children, including mycoplasma pneumonia.

The Chinese capital of Beijing, located in the north of the country, is currently experiencing a cold snap, with temperatures expected to plummet to well below zero by Friday, state media said.

The city has “entered a high incidence season of respiratory infectious diseases”, Wang Quanyi, deputy director and chief epidemiological expert at the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told state media.

Newspakistan.tv/APP/AFP