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China's delayed funeral data clouds extent of December COVID surge

Lag in official release seen impacting policy adjustments moving forward

A funeral home in Shanghai filled with body bags as COVID-19 outbreaks continued around the turn of the year.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- China has yet to release of marriage and death-related data for the last three months of 2022, spurring speculation that the government may still not have the full picture regarding the wave of new COVID-19 cases that hit the country toward the end of December.

The Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs typically releases quarterly data on marriages, divorces and cremations within three months. But it had not published figures for October-December as of Wednesday.

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