(Reuters) – Chinese officials plan random and spot checks at medical facilities in the country to track incomplete and under-reported COVID-19 data, the country’s health authority said, amid a wider call by global authorities for more transparency.
For months, the country has faced pressure from countries and health experts to reveal and be more forthcoming with COVID data, most notably official numbers around severe hospitalisations and deaths.
Recently, advisers to the World Health Organization urged China to release all information related to the origin of the COVID pandemic.
In new measures announced by the National Health Commission, provincial governments will be tasked with daily random supervision and inspections covering an array of areas that include vaccination management at medical and health institutions, including checking the receipt and storage of new coronavirus vaccines.
In addition, the governments have been asked to monitor whether virus infection reports have been concealed, delayed, or misreported; and step up the management of medical waste and biosecurity management of pathogenic microbiology laboratories.
Local governments should actively seek financial support to ensure funding for the costs surrounding the random checks, the health authority said.
(Reporting by Ethan Wang and Bernard Orr; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)
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