China has reported two coronavirus deaths for the first time in over a year.

Both Covid-19 patients died in the northeastern province of Jilin, the National Health Commission said on Saturday.

The People's Republic reported the last corona death on January 26, 2021.

A total of 4,638 people have died from or with the corona virus in China since the beginning of the pandemic.

The number of new infections nationwide was 4051 on Saturday, slightly lower than Friday's 4365. The hardest-hit province of Jilin has set up eight temporary hospitals and two quarantine centers.

There are only around 23,000 hospital beds in the province for around 24 million residents.

In 2019 first Covid cases in China

At the end of 2019, China was the first country in which the novel coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 was detected - and after a good two years of pandemic, it is one of the last countries in the world to still adhere to a zero-Covid strategy.

This is implemented with strict measures such as border closures, strict quarantine rules, mass tests and local lockdowns.

In order to contain sources of infection, the authorities seal off entire cities with a population of over one million.

The highly contagious omicron variant is now putting the government's zero-Covid strategy to the test.

In view of the increasing numbers, doubts have recently been growing as to whether the strict measures, including their economic and social consequences, are still appropriate.

On Thursday, China's President Xi Jinping reiterated that he would stick to the zero-Covid strategy despite the omicron wave.

But he also called for "minimizing" the impact of the pandemic on the country's economy.