China reports 2 COVID-19 deaths, first in more than one year

The deaths, both in northeastern Jilin province, bring the country’s coronavirus death toll to 4,638.

China’s national health authorities reported two COVID-19 deaths on Saturday, the first recorded rise in the death toll since January 2021, as the country battles an omicron-driven surge.

The deaths, both in northeastern Jilin province, bring the country’s coronavirus death toll to 4,638. China reported 2,157 new COVID-19 cases from community transmission on Saturday, with the majority in Jilin. The province has instituted a travel ban, with people needing permission from police to travel across borders.

China had recorded 4,636 deaths since the pandemic began in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019. It revised its death toll once in April 2020, adding in new deaths that were not initially counted as the pandemic overwhelmed the city’s hospitals and other systems

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