China says it recorded at least 60,000 COVID-related deaths between December 8 and January 12.
This was disclosed by the country’s national health commission on Saturday.
According to the South China Morning Post, the recent figures are the first official toll to be released since the country lifted restrictions.
On January 8, China lifted restrictions on foreign travel, ending its quarantine requirements for inbound travellers.
Jiao Yahui, director of the national health commission’s medical affairs department, said medical institutes recorded 5,503 deaths as a result of respiratory failure triggered by COVID infection.
He added that 54,435 other deaths were from people infected with COVID-19 but with underlying conditions, such as cancer or cardiovascular diseases.
The commission also said most of those who died were over 65 years of age.
As panic continues to spread on the actual situation in China and its implications globally, some countries have accused China of not being transparent about the latest outbreak.
Some have gone ahead to impose restrictions on travellers from China, demanding negative COVID tests.
Femi Falana, human rights lawyer and senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), warned the Nigerian government to make it mandatory for persons arriving in Nigeria from China to produce negative COVID test results.
However, Ifedayo Adetifa, director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), said the federal government is not yet considering severe COVID restrictions.
He said the commission will keep reviewing the developing situation.