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China's cumulative COVID cases hit 900m, over 60% of population: estimate

Private-sector data suggests infection rates of 80-90% in some provinces

Medical workers attend to COVID-19 patients at an intensive care unit converted from a conference room at a hospital in Cangzhou, China, on Jan. 11. (Photo by China Daily via Reuters)

DALIAN, China -- Around 900 million people in China, or 64% of the population, had contracted COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic as of Wednesday, according to a report by local researchers.

A team led by Peking University assistant professor Ma Jingjing compiled the figure using private-sector estimates on infection rates, the Chinese newspaper Economic Observer reported. The estimates were based on online search data for key phrases, like "fever."

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