China appears to beat coronavirus, but can it be trusted?

China appears to beat coronavirus, but can it be trusted
New questions are being raised about how much the numbers being reported in China can be trusted. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: Italy to Spain, India to United States, much of the world locks down over the novel coronavirus pandemic, but China appears to be cautiously opening back up.

Travel restrictions across most of the country are gradually lifting or being relaxed and people will be allowed to leave Wuhan from next week, the epicenter of the outbreak. The virus was detected in Wuhan in late last year and is going to be open for the first time in more than two months.

Though, officials in the city have warned people not to go out too much, however, amid fears of a renewed wave of cases.

But as China appears to claim a victory over the pandemic, new questions are being raised about how much the numbers being reported can be trusted, and whether the worst of the outbreak has truly passed.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying angrily refuted the suggestion on Thursday, saying the country “has been giving open, transparent and timely updates to the world.”

“On international public health security, we should listen to the World Health Organization and experts on epidemiology and disease control rather than several politicians who are habitual liars,” she responded angrily.

Just yesterday, a senior WHO official refuted unwarranted accusations on ‘China’s untransparent data’ in a press conference in Geneva.”

Ms. Hua further blames US officials of trying to “shift the blame” due to the “severe situation” that the country is facing.

She added, “It is immoral and inhumane to politicize public health, which should be condemned by all in the US and beyond.”

However, it is not only the United States who is raising questions on Chinese claims.

A leading Chinese business publication named Caixin, previously reported that there were thousands more funeral urns delivered to Wuhan than would be accounted for by the official coronavirus death toll.

But, funeral services in the city of 11 million were halted on January 25, so it’s plausible that urns are also used for those who died from something other than coronavirus.