The latest victims were between the ages of 60 and 101 and had not been vaccinated, according to authorities.
China has reported seven more COVID-19 deaths in the shuttered city of Shanghai, a day after announcing its first fatalities from a week-long outbreak fueled by the Omicron variant.
Tuesday’s deaths bring the total death toll in Shanghai to 10, with the virus continuing to spread.
Beijing insists that zero COVID policy of strict lockdowns, mass testing and lengthy quarantines has kept deaths low and averted the public health crises that have plagued much of the rest of the world.
But some have questioned the official figures in a nation where many 60 and older have been reluctant to get vaccinated.
The first three confirmed deceased people were elderly and had not been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The seven who died on Tuesday were also unvaccinated, city health official Wu Qianyu told a news conference, and were between 60 and 101 years old. All of the dead also had illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease, according to authorities.
The patients “became seriously ill after hospital admission and died after ineffective rescue efforts, with underlying diseases being the direct cause of death,” the commission said.
Unverified social media posts have claimed that the Shanghai deaths go unreported, but the posts were quickly removed from the internet.
Shanghai health officials said on Sunday that less than two-thirds of residents over the age of 60 had received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and less than 40 percent had received a booster.
The East Coast city reported more than 20,000 new and mostly asymptomatic cases on Tuesday, even with many of the city’s 25 million residents confined to their homes since late March.
The city has reported more than 300,000 cases in the Omicron wave, and a new temporary hospital with more than 7,000 beds opened its doors on Sunday to admit patients with mild or no symptoms of the disease.
The country’s zero-tolerance approach to the virus had largely kept COVID-19 in check since it first appeared. emerged in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019.
But dealing with Omicron proved more of a challenge, as officials scrambled to contain outbreaks in various regions.
According to an estimate on Monday, about 350 million people in at least 44 cities are currently under some form of lockdown in China.
Residents of the capital Beijing have also been advised to “stay put” during next month’s Labor Day holiday, the Global Times reported, while capacities in closed public places such as museums, art galleries and movie theaters have been capped at 75 percent.
People returning from out of town must also provide a negative result from a nucleic acid test performed within the previous 48 hours.