(ECNS) -- A total of 59,938 COVID-19 related deaths were reported at hospitals across China from Dec. 8 to Jan. 12, with an average age of 80.3 years old, said an official of the National Health Commission at a press conference on Saturday.
Of the 59,938 deaths, 5,503 were due to respiratory failure caused by COVID-19, and 54,435 due to underlying diseases worsened by COVID-19, said Jiao Yahui, director of the National Health Commission's bureau of medical administration.
Winter is usally a season of high incidence of respiratory diseases among the elderly while people with cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases often get worse, said Jiao.
Among the deaths, 90.1 percent were aged 65 or above, and 56.5 percent were aged 80 or above. More than 90 percent of the deaths were worsened by underlying diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, advanced tumors, cerebrovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, metabolic diseases and renal insufficiency.
To improve medical institutions' reporting efficiency, the commission has organized the development of an information reporting platform, which was put into use on Dec. 31 last year, Jiao said.
Relevant data and information will be released to the public timely, Jiao added.