Home » World News » China coronavirus cover-up: Death toll TEN TIMES official figure, claims Wuhan resident
China coronavirus cover-up: Death toll TEN TIMES official figure, claims Wuhan resident
April 17, 2020
Wuhan’s prevention and control taskforce today increased the official death toll by 1,290, from 2,579 to 3,869, with the announcement coming against a backdrop of widespread scepticism over a perceived lack of transparency. However, Liu Pei’en, whose father died at the beginning of February, believes the number is significantly higher.
The real number should be 10 times higher than the reported number
Speaking before the total was revised upwards, he told ITV: “The real number should be 10 times higher than the reported number.
“The death toll now is 2,500.
“The real number in Wuhan should be more than 20,000.
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“It is impossible that only more than 2,000 died. Impossible.”
Mr Pei’en, one of a small group of Wuhan people who have bravely spoken out on the subject, previously spoke out after his father’s death, when he described the death toll as “very high” and “really worrying”.
In his latest interview, he said: “China is trying to fade people’s memory of what happened, hoping after a month or so, nobody will remember.
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“They will move on and forget.”
The taskforce cited the number of patients unable to reach hospitals, late, mistaken or double reporting, as well as difficulty linking information reported from private hospitals, temporary hospitals and other medical institutions which handled patients as reasons for the underestimation.
A spokesman said: “Life and the people are paramount.
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“Every loss of life during the epidemic is not just a source of sorrow for their family, but the city as well.
“We would like to send our sincere sympathies to the family members of those who died during the epidemic, as well as our comrades and medical staff who sacrificed their lives.”
An unidentified city official told state broadcaster CGTN: “In the early stage, due to limited hospital capacity and the shortage of medical staff, a few medical institutions failed to connect with local disease control and prevention systems in a timely manner, which resulted in delayed reporting of confirmed cases and some failures to count patients accurately.”
Despite initially praising China’s response, US President Donald Trump is among those who have voiced doubts about the veracity of China’s figures.
Speaking on Wednesday, he said: “Do you really believe those numbers in this vast country called China, and that they have a certain number of cases and a certain number of deaths; does anybody really believe that?”
Zhao Lijian, deputy director of China’s Foreign Ministry Information Department, hit back.
He said: “We urge the US officials to concentrate of their own epidemic prevention and control efforts, and not on shifting the blame everywhere in an attempt to divert attention and cover up their slow response.”
As well as increasing the death toll, the taskforce also increased the overall number of cases by 325 to 50,333.
Globally, there are now 2,159,450 cases of COVID-19, and 145,568 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Centre.