Beijing moved away from its zero-Covid policy on December 7, leading to a surge in coronavirus infections

China on Saturday reported nearly 60,000 deaths related to the coronavirus since Beijing decided to move away from its zero-Covid policy in early December.

The lifting of many restrictions on December 7 led to a surge of infections among the east Asian country's 1.4 billion people, with 59,938 total hospital deaths related to the virus reported from December 8 to January 12 -- 5,503 from respiratory failure and 54,435 from other ailments exacerbated by Covid.

Complaints had mounted after China decided to stop reporting on Covid infections and deaths in early December when the restrictions were eased, including from the World Health Organization and governments around the world as cases spiked into December at the same time that many Chinese nationals were booking flights abroad after Beijing said it would scrap mandatory Covid quarantine for overseas arrivals from January 8.... Read More: i24