Top 10 Healthy Seeds to Eat
Nutrition plays significant roles for a human’s overall health and mental well-being. Adding seeds to one’s regular diet have numerous health benefits. Let’s discuss different types of seeds and their respective health benefits. What Are Seeds? All flowering plants reproduce through seeds. In simple words, a seed is the tiny, round or oval, hard component of a plant that works as the starting point of a new plant. More scientifically, a seed is a small embryonic ‘plant’, surrounded by a protective layer called the seed coat with certain reserved nutrients. In an appropriate environment, each seed has the potential to develop into a new plant. How Seeds are Different from Nuts, Grains, and Beans While many confuse seeds, nuts, grains, and beans; they are all different types of plant-based foods with unique characteristics. Though they share some similarities in terms of their nutritional content, they have differences. Seeds are the reproductive parts of plants with high protein like chia seeds, sesame seeds. They are rich with healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Read More; Sweet Potato Health Benefits: The Organic Affordable Super Food Nuts are the fruits of certain trees like almonds, peanuts. They are generally high with healthy fats, protein, fiber and various vitamins and minerals. Grains are actually the seeds of grasses such as wheat, rice. They are a good source of carbohydrates, fiber, minerals and some essential vitamins. Beans are the edible seeds of legume plants, such as lentils, kidney beans. Beans are nutritious with protein, fiber, various vitamins and minerals. Each of these foods has unique properties that make them valuable additions to a healthy and varied diet. Read More: Best and Worst Foods for Brain, Memory, Focus How to Eat Seeds Seeds are known as nutritional powerhouse. They are not just delicious and easy to consume but also convenient for people of all ages. Thus, just having proper digestion is not sufficient. It is vital to ensure that these nutrients are absorbed effectively by the body. The next question that arises is the appropriate way to consume seeds. Eating them raw is the only way to derive nutrition from the seeds. It expands to soaked, ground or mashed particularly when added with other foods. It is suggested to soak seeds overnight before consumption. Although soaking provides numerous benefits, the most significant is the removal of phytic acid found on them. Overnight soaking is the most effective method for this. When selecting seeds, raw and unsalted varieties are recommended. Seeds, coated or roasted, or with added sugar coatings must be avoided. read more: Natural Sweeteners: 7 Healthy Alternatives of Refined Sugar 10 Healthiest Seeds Seeds may be small in size, but when it comes to nutrition it is packed with vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. This tiny powerhouse can provide the energy needed for the day ahead. In fact, seeds can be nutritious yet satisfying and a delicious filling snack. Here are the 10 healthiest seeds with benefits to boost overall health.
What's Hair Transplant and What are the Most Popular Methods?
Who doesn’t love a head full of healthy, smooth, and shiny hair? Losing a few strands of hair every day is normal, but many experience severe hair loss. People of different age groups and genders can go through hair fall problems for diverse reasons. Excessive hair fall may lead to thinning hair, bald patches, and even baldness. Thanks to advancements in medical science, those suffering from baldness can now regain their hairline. Let’s take a look at the causes of hair loss and effective hair transplant solutions. Common Causes of Hair Fall An individual can experience excessive hair fall for different reasons. Here are the most common ones: Genetics Family history plays a crucial role in determining hair health. If one’s parents or grandparents experienced hair loss, one may be genetically predisposed to the same condition. Read More: 10 Energy Healing Methods: Which One is Right for You? Hormonal changes Hormonal imbalances caused by pregnancy, menopause, thyroid disorders, or other health conditions can cause hair fall. Hormonal changes can cause hair follicles to shrink, resulting in thinner hair or bald patches. Stress Chronic stress can cause an increase in the hormone cortisol, which can affect the hair growth cycle, leading to hair loss. Nutritional deficiencies A lack of essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron, vitamin D, or biotin, can lead to hair loss. Medications Certain medications used to treat health conditions like cancer, depression, arthritis, or high blood pressure can cause hair fall as a side effect. Read More: Best Foods for Hair Growth: What to Eat, Drink and Avoid Excessive use of hairstyling products Frequent use of heat styling tools, tight hairstyles like braids or ponytails, and chemical treatments like coloring or perming can damage the hair shaft and cause hair fall. Medical conditions Health conditions like scalp psoriasis, alopecia areata, or fungal infections can cause hair loss. What is Hair Transplant? Hair transplant is a surgical procedure that involves moving hair follicles from one part of the body, typically the back or sides of the scalp, to a balding or thinning area. The procedure is primarily used to treat male pattern baldness, but it can also be used to restore hair loss due to injury or burns. The transplanted hair follicles are usually harvested in groups of one to four hairs and transplanted into tiny incisions made in the recipient area. Over time, the transplanted hairs grow and blend in with the existing hair, creating a natural-looking hairline. Read More: Summer Skin Care Guide For Men
10 Energy Healing Methods: Which One is Right for You?
Energy healing manipulates the "energy fields" of the human body to promote balance. Whether seeking relief from pain or enhancing overall well-being, energy healing can help. It's an alternative therapy used for centuries across different cultures. Believing that the human body has an energy system, several types of energy healing methods are practiced around the world. Each kind of energy healing bestows unique benefits. Let’s explore 10 energy healing methods. 10 Popular Energy Healing Methods Yoga Yoga is a centuries-old practice that combines physical postures, breathing techniques, meditation, and the chakra system to promote holistic healing and wellness. Various forms of yoga exist that focus on energy healing, such as Kundalini, Iyengar, and Vinyasa. Kundalini yoga emphasizes the awakening of energy within the body, Iyengar yoga emphasizes proper alignment to promote energy flow, and Vinyasa yoga uses movement and breath to enhance the flow of prana, or life force energy, throughout the body. Read More: Which Type of Yoga Should You Try? Yoga first originated almost 5000 years ago in ancient India. It can provide numerous benefits, including reduced stress, improved flexibility and strength, and enhanced mental clarity and focus. However, it is important to approach yoga with caution and consult with a qualified teacher, as certain postures and practices may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with certain health conditions or injuries. Reiki Reiki is a form of energy healing that originated in Japan in the early 20th century. It is based on the concept that there is a universal life force energy that flows through all living things, and when this energy is blocked or disrupted, it can cause physical or emotional distress. During a Reiki session, the practitioner uses their hands to channel this energy into the recipient's body, helping to remove any blockages and promote balance and harmony. The benefits of Reiki can include relaxation, emotional release, and an overall sense of well-being. There are minimal risks associated with Reiki, as it is non-invasive and gentle. Read More: What is Reiki? Does It Really Work? Massage Massage is a popular and ancient form of energy healing that uses various techniques to manipulate the body's energy and promote relaxation. The origins of massage can be traced back to ancient China, Egypt, and India. During a session, the therapist uses their hands and sometimes other tools to apply pressure to different parts of the body, helping to release tension and improve blood and lymphatic circulation. Massage has been shown to have numerous benefits, including reducing stress, easing muscle pain, and improving sleep quality. It is generally considered safe, but certain conditions may require caution or avoidance of massage, such as deep vein thrombosis or infectious skin diseases. Reflexology Reflexology is an energy healing practice that utilizes specific pressure points on the feet, hands, and ears to stimulate healing. Practitioners believe that these pressure points correspond to different organs and systems in the body, and by applying pressure, energy can flow freely and balance can be restored. Reflexology was invented in Egypt and was practiced from 2500 BC. Read More: Happiness Hormone: Ways to Boost Dopamine Reflexology can promote relaxation, improve circulation, and reduce stress and anxiety. Some individuals may experience discomfort or soreness during a session, and reflexology is not recommended for individuals with foot injuries or certain medical conditions. Craniosacral Craniosacral therapy is an alternative healing technique that involves a gentle touch approach to assess the movement of fluids surrounding the central nervous system. This therapy is designed to relieve stress, tension headaches, and neck pain by targeting the areas that are causing discomfort. It is believed that craniosacral therapy can also help restore balance and promote wellness after experiencing traumatic injuries. The origin of this practice can be traced back to osteopathy and cranial osteopathy, which was developed by Andrew Taylor Still. He invented it as a way to remove restrictions in human skulls in a toxic-free way. The main benefit of craniosacral therapy is its ability to provide relief from chronic pain without invasive procedures or medications. Read More: Workplace stress affecting women in Bangladesh needs attention However, as with any therapy, there are risks involved, such as potential side effects or adverse reactions. It is important to consult with a qualified practitioner before undergoing this therapy.
14 Top Anti-aging Foods to Look Younger
According to biological science, the aging process occurs as an impact of the aggregation of a huge variety of molecular and cellular damage over time. It leads to a subtle decrease in physical and mental capacity. Moreover, the process of aging grows the risk of disease and ultimately leads to death. The process of aging can't be stopped but delayed. For instance, certain foods have natural anti-aging nutrients. Therefore, foods can greatly affect the fitness, appearance, quality of life, and risk of disease in human beings. Check here 14 anti-aging foods that can help you stay young. What are the benefits of an anti-aging diet? Anti-aging foods of course have a wide range of health benefits. Nutritious foods are full of vitamins, minerals, Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, protein, and fiber that a human body needs to perform basic functions. Without getting enough of them, you may notice the signs of aging. A few of the benefits you can expect when you eat anti-aging foods are as follow: -Healthy hair; -Stronger nails; -Slim figure; -Reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease; -Better circulation; -Lower blood pressure; -Hydrated, glowing skin. Read More: Top Traditional Bangladeshi Foods You Must Try 14 Most Effective Anti-aging Foods for Young Skin Extra virgin olive oil Extra virgin olive oil is amazing and the healthiest oil on earth. It has healthy fats and antioxidants that help you to reduce inflammation and oxidative damage caused by an imbalance of free radicals in the body. A diet that is rich in olive oil can lower the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and certain types of cancer, and the monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) available in olive oil ( about 73%) may help reduce skin aging. Read More: Beetroot: Nutrition, Health Benefits, Doses, Side Effects
Bangladesh almost self-sufficient in treatment of heart diseases: PM Hasina
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday said the country’s health sector has witnessed significant progress despite various limitations over the last 14 years. “Bangladesh is now almost self-sufficient in cardiac care. Bangladesh has the capacity to treat 95 to 98 percent of cardiovascular diseases as skilled manpower, modern technology and equipment are available here in the country,” she said. The premier said this in a video message aired in the 3rd International Scientific Conference arranged by Bangladesh Cardiovascular Research Foundation (BCRF) in the city. She also opened the two-day conference being held at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel. Hasina said healthcare has now become much more accessible and reached the doorsteps of common people. Also Read: Boost research on agriculture to increase production: PM Hasina tells scientists “As the country's cardiologists and doctors provide better medical services to the patients in the country, the people of the country are benefiting and thus (the country’s) foreign currency is being saved,” she said. She said work is underway to set up a full-fledged pediatric cardiac unit in Dhaka for better treatment of pediatric cardiac patients in the country. “Plans have been taken to extend such facilities to other government hospitals as well,” she added. To increase the scope of pediatric cardiac treatment, the scope to produce pediatric cardiologists has been enhanced as a full-fledged pediatric cardiology and pediatric cardiac surgery unit was set up at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, said the PM. A 500-bed world-class 'Institute of Cardiovascular Science and Research Institute' has been established in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, she said. The premier stressed the need for focusing on preventive measures regarding cardiovascular diseases as the number of cardiac patients is on rise in the country. Also Read: PM Hasina: Bangladesh to become aviation gateway between the east and the west “The number of cardiac patients is increasing day by day in the country due to various reasons including diet, lack of physical work, smoking and excessive diabetes. Along with the development of cardiovascular disease care, we also need to pay attention to preventive measures,” she said. PM Hasina said cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in Bangladesh and all over the world. According to the World Health Organization, some 17.9 million people die every year in the world due to cardiovascular diseases. “About 27 percent of total deaths in Bangladesh are caused by cardiovascular diseases. At present, 10 children per thousand are suffering from cardiovascular diseases in the country. One in five young people in Bangladesh is at risk of heart disease,” she said. Focusing on her government’s steps for the development of the health sector, the PM said it has taken a plan to build a medical college in every district. The number of medical colleges rose to 115 now from 50 ones in 2009, while the number of MBBS course seats went up to 10,789 from only 2,050 in 2009, she said. She said her government will build a medical university in every division and four medical universities have already been set up. Pointing to the participants, their participation in the 3rd Scientific Conference has created a unique opportunity to share knowledge and experiences among cardiac specialists.
New prog “Welcome Corps” launched enabling Americans to sponsor refugees
The US Department of State, in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services, has launched the Welcome Corps, a new private sponsorship program that will enable Americans to sponsor refugees arriving through the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), directly support their resettlement, and make a difference by welcoming these new neighbors into their communities. This program invites Americans to be partners and guides to refugees as they build new lives in the United States and help them realize their full potential. “In the face of unprecedented global displacement, the United States will continue to lead the international community in humanitarian response, including refugee resettlement,” said US Department of State Antony J. Blinken on Thursday. Read more: Laubacher's visit underscores US commitment to strengthening ties with Bangladesh: US Embassy By launching the Welcome Corps, he said, they build on a proud tradition of providing refuge and demonstrate the spirit and generosity of the American people as we commit to welcoming refugees in need of their support. “In the program’s first year, our goal is to mobilize at least 10,000 Americans to step forward as private sponsors and offer a welcoming hand to at least 5,000 refugees from around the world,” Blinken said. The Welcome Corps will build on the “extraordinary response” of the American people over the past year in welcoming our Afghan allies, Ukrainians displaced by war, Venezuelans, and others fleeing violence and oppression. Read more: Human rights are at the center of US foreign policy: US Embassy The Welcome Corps is the boldest innovation in refugee resettlement in four decades and it is designed to strengthen and expand the capacity of the USRAP by harnessing the energy and talents of Americans from all walks of life desiring to serve as private sponsors – ranging from members of faith and civic groups, veterans, diaspora communities, businesses, colleges and universities, and more.
Broilers chicken not harmful to health: Minister
There is no health risk in eating broiler chicken as it contains antibiotic and heavy metal residues far below the maximum tolerable levels in meat, said Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque on Thursday. Broiler chicken meat, bones and composites mainly contain small amount of two antibiotics (oxytetracycline and doxycycline) and three heavy metals (arsenic, chromium and lead), which is not unusual and is far below the maximum tolerable level, he said referring to a research report. He was speaking at a press conference revealing the outcome of the research on whether there are antibiotics, heavy metals and other elements harmful to human health in broiler chicken meat at the secretariat. Read more: Govt aiming to become self-sufficient in onions: Agriculture Minister He said broiler meat available in supermarkets has lower levels of antibiotics and heavy metals than those in farms and kitchen markets. Campaigns in various newspapers and social media show that broiler meat contains antibiotics, heavy metals and other harmful substances that are harmful to human health. For these kind of misleading information, a misconception has been created among public about broiler meat leading to less consumption of broiler meat, said Razzaque. “As a result, the broiler industry faces a great loss which we have seen during the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020. Consumption of nutritious broiler meat was reduced in the early stages of the disease outbreak," added the minister. If the demand for broilers can be increased, it is possible to increase the production by making full use of the existing farms and infrastructure in the country, said the agriculture minister, urging all to popularise broiler meat among people. So, the broiler chicken market will grow rapidly, the establishment of the poultry meat processing industry will increase, employment will be created and a large amount of foreign exchange will also be earned through exports, he said. Read more: Agriculture minister writes to other ministers to use fallow lands for cultivation "Besides, campaigns and public awareness should be created on the consumption of broiler chicken to build a healthy nation, meet the demand for meat and create employment." Speaking at the press briefing, Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim said the government is trying to modernise the poultry sector and provide government support for its development. “We have also requested NBR (National Board of Revenue) to give duty concession on import of poultry feed.”
Obaidul Quader leaves for Singapore for health check-up
Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader left for Singapore on Monday morning for a routine health check-up. Quader, also the Road Transport and Bridges Minister, left Dhaka on a Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight around 8.30am for a routine health check-up at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, said a press release signed by Sheikh Walid Fayez, senior information officer of the ministry. Read more: Quader promises major remedial steps as AL smarts from polling debacles He will return to Dhaka on January 4. This AL leader has been suffering from chronic heart and lung problems for a long time. In 2019, three blockages were found in his coronary arteries.
Packed ICUs, crowded crematoriums: COVID roils Chinese towns
Yao Ruyan paced frantically outside the fever clinic of a county hospital in China’s industrial Hebei province, 70 kilometers (43 miles) southwest of Beijing. Her mother-in-law had COVID-19 and needed urgent medical care, but all hospitals nearby were full. “They say there’s no beds here,” she barked into her phone. As China grapples with its first-ever national COVID-19 wave, emergency wards in small cities and towns southwest of Beijing are overwhelmed. Intensive care units are turning away ambulances, relatives of sick people are searching for open beds, and patients are slumped on benches in hospital corridors and lying on floors for a lack of beds. Yao’s elderly mother-in-law had fallen ill a week ago with the coronavirus. They went first to a local hospital, where lung scans showed signs of pneumonia. But the hospital couldn’t handle serious COVID-19 cases, Yao was told. She was told to go to larger hospitals in adjacent counties. As Yao and her husband drove from hospital to hospital, they found all the wards were full. Zhuozhou Hospital, an hour’s drive from Yao’s hometown, was the latest disappointment. Yao charged toward the check-in counter, past wheelchairs frantically moving elderly patients. Yet again, she was told the hospital was full, and that she would have to wait. “I’m furious,” Yao said, tearing up, as she clutched the lung scans from the local hospital. “I don’t have much hope. We’ve been out for a long time and I’m terrified because she’s having difficulty breathing.” Over two days, Associated Press journalists visited five hospitals and two crematoriums in towns and small cities in Baoding and Langfang prefectures, in central Hebei province. The area was the epicenter of one of China’s first outbreaks after the state loosened COVID-19 controls in November and December. For weeks, the region went quiet, as people fell ill and stayed home. Many have now recovered. Today, markets are bustling, diners pack restaurants and cars are honking in snarling traffic, even as the virus is spreading in other parts of China. In recent days, headlines in state media said the area is “ starting to resume normal life.” But life in central Hebei’s emergency wards and crematoriums is anything but normal. Even as the young go back to work and lines at fever clinics shrink, many of Hebei’s elderly are falling into critical condition. As they overrun ICUs and funeral homes, it could be a harbinger of what’s to come for the rest of China. The Chinese government has reported only seven COVID-19 deaths since restrictions were loosened dramatically on Dec. 7, bringing the country’s total toll to 5,241. On Tuesday, a Chinese health official said that China only counts deaths from pneumonia or respiratory failure in its official COVID-19 death toll, a narrow definition that excludes many deaths that would be attributed to COVID-19 in other places. Experts have forecast between a million and 2 million deaths in China through the end of next year, and a top World Health Organization official warned that Beijing’s way of counting would “underestimate the true death toll.” At Baoding No. 2 Hospital in Zhuozhou on Wednesday, patients thronged the hallway of the emergency ward. The sick were breathing with the help of respirators. One woman wailed after doctors told her that a loved one had died. The ICU was so crowded, ambulances were turned away. A medical worker shouted at relatives wheeling in a patient from an arriving ambulance. “There’s no oxygen or electricity in this corridor!” the worker exclaimed. “If you can’t even give him oxygen, how can you save him?” “If you don’t want any delays, turn around and get out quickly!” she said. The relatives left, hoisting the patient back into the ambulance. It took off, lights flashing. Read more: Reports of severe COVID in China are "extremely concerning", WHO In two days of driving in the region, AP journalists passed around thirty ambulances. On one highway toward Beijing, two ambulances followed each other, lights flashing, as a third passed by heading in the opposite direction. Dispatchers are overwhelmed, with Beijing city officials reporting a sixfold surge in emergency calls earlier this month. Some ambulances are heading to funeral homes. At the Zhuozhou crematorium, furnaces are burning overtime as workers struggle to cope with a spike in deaths in the past week, according to one employee. A funeral shop worker estimated it is burning 20 to 30 bodies a day, up from three to four before COVID-19 measures were loosened. “There’s been so many people dying,” said Zhao Yongsheng, a worker at a funeral goods shop near a local hospital. “They work day and night, but they can’t burn them all.” At a crematorium in Gaobeidian, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of Zhuozhou, the body of one 82-year-old woman was brought from Beijing, a two-hour drive, because funeral homes in China’s capital were packed, according to the woman’s grandson, Liang. “They said we’d have to wait for 10 days,” Liang said, giving only his surname because of the sensitivity of the situation. Liang’s grandmother had been unvaccinated, Liang added, when she came down with coronavirus symptoms, and had spent her final days hooked to a respirator in a Beijing ICU. Over two hours at the Gaobeidian crematorium on Thursday, AP journalists observed three ambulances and two vans unload bodies. A hundred or so people huddled in groups, some in traditional white Chinese mourning attire. They burned funeral paper and set off fireworks. “There’s been a lot!” a worker said when asked about the number of COVID-19 deaths, before funeral director Ma Xiaowei stepped in and brought the journalists to meet a local government official. As the official listened in, Ma confirmed there were more cremations, but said he didn’t know if COVID-19 was involved. He blamed the extra deaths on the arrival of winter. “Every year during this season, there’s more,” Ma said. “The pandemic hasn’t really shown up” in the death toll, he said, as the official listened and nodded. Even as anecdotal evidence and modeling suggests large numbers of people are getting infected and dying, some Hebei officials deny the virus has had much impact. “There’s no so-called explosion in cases, it’s all under control,” said Wang Ping, the administrative manager of Gaobeidian Hospital, speaking by the hospital’s main gate. “There’s been a slight decline in patients.” Wang said only a sixth of the hospital’s 600 beds were occupied, but refused to allow AP journalists to enter. Two ambulances came to the hospital during the half hour AP journalists were present, and a patient’s relative told the AP they were turned away from Gaobeidian’s emergency ward because it was full. Thirty kilometers (19 miles) south in the town of Baigou, emergency ward doctor Sun Yana was candid, even as local officials listened in. “There are more people with fevers, the number of patients has indeed increased,” Sun said. She hesitated, then added, “I can’t say whether I’ve become even busier or not. Our emergency department has always been busy.” Read more: China limits how it defines COVID deaths in official count The Baigou New Area Aerospace Hospital was quiet and orderly, with empty beds and short lines as nurses sprayed disinfectant. COVID-19 patients are separated from others, staff said, to prevent cross-infection. But they added that serious cases are being directed to hospitals in bigger cities, because of limited medical equipment. The lack of ICU capacity in Baigou, which has about 60,000 residents, reflects a nationwide problem. Experts say medical resources in China’s villages and towns, home to about 500 million of China’s 1.4 billion people, lag far behind those of big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. Some counties lack a single ICU bed. As a result, patients in critical condition are forced to go to bigger cities for treatment. In Bazhou, a city 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of Baigou, a hundred or more people packed the emergency ward of Langfang No. 4 People’s Hospital on Thursday night. Guards worked to corral the crowds as people jostled for positions. With no space in the ward, patients spilled into corridors and hallways. Sick people sprawled on blankets on the floor as staff frantically wheeled gurneys and ventilators. In a hallway, half a dozen patients wheezed on metal benches as oxygen tanks pumped air into their noses. Outside a CT scan room, a woman sitting on a bench wheezed as snot dribbled out of her nostrils into crumpled tissues. A man sprawled out on a stretcher outside the emergency ward as medical workers stuck electrodes to his chest. By a check-in counter, a woman sitting on a stool gasped for air as a young man held her hand. “Everyone in my family has got COVID,” one man asked at the counter, as four others clamored for attention behind him. “What medicine can we get?” In a corridor, a man paced as he shouted into his cellphone. “The number of people has exploded!” he said. “There’s no way you can get care here, there’s far too many people.” It wasn’t clear how many patients had COVID-19. Some had only mild symptoms, illustrating another issue, experts say: People in China rely more heavily on hospitals than in other countries, meaning it’s easier for emergency medical resources to be overloaded. Over two hours, AP journalists witnessed half a dozen or more ambulances pull up to the hospital’s ICU and load critical patients to sprint to other hospitals, even as cars pulled up with dozens of new patients. A beige van pulled up to the ICU and honked frantically at a waiting ambulance. “Move!” the driver shouted. “Let’s go, let’s go!” a panicked voice cried. Five people hoisted a man bundled in blankets out of the back of the van and rushed him into the hospital. Security guards shouted in the packed ward: “Make way, make way!” The guard asked a patient to move, but backed off when a relative snarled at him. The bundled man was laid on the floor instead, amid doctors running back and forth. “Grandpa!” a woman cried, crouching over the patient. Medical workers rushed over a ventilator. “Can you open his mouth?” someone shouted. As white plastic tubes were fitted onto his face, the man began to breathe more easily. Others were not so lucky. Relatives surrounding another bed began tearing up as an elderly woman’s vitals flatlined. A man tugged a cloth over the woman’s face, and they stood, silently, before her body was wheeled away. Within minutes, another patient had taken her place.
China limits how it defines COVID deaths in official count
China only counts deaths from pneumonia or respiratory failure in its official COVID-19 death toll, a Chinese health official said, in a narrow definition that limits the number of deaths reported, as an outbreak of the virus surges following the easing of pandemic-related restrictions. Deaths that occur in patients with pre-existing illnesses are not counted as COVID-19 deaths, said Wang Guiqiang, the head of infectious disease at Peking University's No. 1 Hospital. China has always been conservative in how it counts illnesses, whether from the flu or COVID-19. In most countries, including the United States, guidelines stipulate that any death where COVID-19 is a factor or contributor is counted as a COVID-19-related death. In effect, Wang’s comments on Tuesday simply clarified publicly what the country has been doing throughout the pandemic. Read more: China reduces COVID-19 case number reporting as virus surges On Wednesday, China reported no new COVID-19 deaths and in fact subtracted one death from the overall toll, lowering it to 5,241, according to a daily tally issued by the National Health Commission, which did not offer an explanation for the decrease. The clarification of how China officially records COVID-19 deaths comes as cases have soared across the country amid the loosening of restrictions. Yet the overall count remains blurry, as China has stopped requiring daily PCR tests and many people are testing at home. Anecdotally, many people have fallen ill in cities like Beijing and Shanghai. Earlier this year, Shanghai was hit by an omicron-driven outbreak. Multiple people told the AP then that their elderly family members who tested positive for COVID-19 and died were not counted in the city's official death toll. When patients had underlying diseases, the deaths were attributed to those. An AP investigation then showed that numbers have been clouded by the way health authorities tally COVID-19 statistics, applying a much narrower, less transparent and at times shifting standard, as Shanghai changed how it defined positive cases. Read more: China to drop travel tracing as it relaxes ‘zero COVID’ That narrower criteria has meant China’s COVID-19 death toll will always be significantly lower than those of many other nations. An Associated Press reporter saw multiple people being wheeled out of funeral homes in Beijing last week, and two relatives told the AP their loved ones had died after testing positive for COVID-19. Last week, however, the country did not report any deaths due to COVID-19. Different countries count cases and deaths differently, and patchy testing means that direct comparisons are often misleading. But experts have repeatedly advised that authorities should err on the side of caution while counting deaths. Problems in death counts have raised questions in countries ranging from South Africa to Russia. The World Health Organization estimated in May that nearly 15 million people died from COVID-19 or due to overwhelmed health systems in the first two years of the pandemic. That is more than the official death toll of over 6 million for that period.