Since the beginning of the month, the number of daily COVID-19 deaths in China has decreased by about 80 per cent, according to authorities, indicating that the country's record infection surge may have begun to subside.
Since Beijing abruptly stopped its zero-COVID policy a month ago, a tsunami of viral cases has poured over the world's most populated nation.
Given China's restrictive definition of a Covid death and government estimates that vast swaths of the populace have been infected, it is assumed that Beijing's numbers only represent a fraction of the total toll.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said last week that approximately 13,000 people had died from COVID-related illnesses between January 13 and January 19, adding to an earlier report that 60,000 people had succumbed to the virus in hospitals in less than a month.
However, recent local government pronouncements and media reports indicate that the wave may have begun to subside after reaching its peak in late December and early January when hospitals and crematoriums were filled.
There were 896 deaths attributed to the virus in hospitals on Monday, a decrease of 79 per cent from January 4, according to a statement released by China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday.
The CDC said that severe cases in hospitals decreased by 72 per cent to 36,000 on Monday, from a high of 128,000 on January 5.
The news was made amid China's most important public holiday, the Lunar New Year, with authorities having previously cautioned that the period of mass travel and social gatherings might spark a new outbreak.
CCTV said on Tuesday that approximately 664 million trips had been taken nationally over the Lunar New Year travel season, using official numbers.