(Reuters) – China reported 218,019 new weekly COVID-19 cases as of Jan. 1, the World Health Organization in its weekly report said, as the country is battling a surge in the cases of the virus.

China reported five new deaths related to COVID-19 for Tuesday, bringing the official death toll to 5,258, very low by global standards.

In December last year, WHO said it has received no data from China on new COVID-19 hospitalisations since Beijing lifted its zero-COVID policy, prompting some health experts to question whether it might be hiding information on the extent of its outbreak.

However, the WHO has said gaps in data might be due to Chinese authorities simply struggling to tally cases.

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(Reporting by Jahnavi Nidumolu in Bengaluru; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters.

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