Daily US Times: The central Chinese city of Wuhan, from where the coronavirus outbreak was generated, has revised sharply upwards its death toll from the disease, admitting people died at home and cases were missed as hospitals struggled to cope in the early days of the outbreak.
On Friday, the Chinese government posted the update with detail on social media. The new update showed an increase of death toll by 1,290 – about 50 percent – bringing the total to 3,869. The revision brought the number of deaths due to coronavirus across China to 4,632.
Chinese authorities said there had been late reports from medical institutions, while some patients had died in their homes as hospitals were struggling to cope up with huge patient flow in the early stages of the outbreak.
Wuhan Municipal Headquarters for COVID-19 Epidemic Prevention and Control issued a statement which says: “A surging number of patients at the early stage of the pandemic overwhelmed medical resources and the admission capacity of medical institutions.”
“Some patients died at home without having been treated in hospitals. During the height of their treating efforts hospitals were operating beyond their capacities and medical staff were preoccupied with saving and treating patients, resulting in belated, missed and mistaken reporting.”
The total number of coronavirus cases in Wuhan also revised – by 325 to 50,333.
The revisions came in a time when a growing number of world leaders suggested China had not been entirely transparent about the full domestic impact of a virus that has now killed more than 140,000 people worldwide, and forced half of humanity to stay at their homes.
Global Times, a tabloid owned by the Communist Party, rejected the accusations in an editorial and said the revisions were made “based on facts” and that China had not been affected by “Western noise.”
The editorial said: “The strict review and correction of the death toll means there is no room for deliberate concealment. Speculation that China falsified the death toll from the coronavirus is far from the truth. China is not a country where one can fabricate data in complete disregard of the law.”
Neverthless, the revisions are likely to play into the Trump administration’s growing narrative of Chinese untrustworthiness, which now getting support from France and Britain.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, said there would be “hard questions” for Beijing.
French President Emmanuel Macron said while interviewing with the Financial Times that it would be “naive” to think China had handled the pandemic well, adding: “There are clearly things that have happened that we don’t know about.”