Coronavirus: China’s death toll in Wuhan called into question

Saturday - 04/04/2020 11:16
Chinese police officers wear protective masks as wait to observe three minutes of silence to mark the country's national day of mourning for COVID-19 in Beijing . Picture: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images
Chinese police officers wear protective masks as wait to observe three minutes of silence to mark the country's national day of mourning for COVID-19 in Beijing . Picture: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images
In recent days, speculation has increased about the validity of China’s official coronavirus statistics.

The country has reported 81,620 cases of the virus and 3322 deaths. Those numbers have barely risen in weeks, and they’ve been dwarfed by the surges in Spain, Italy and the United States.

China says that is a function of the fact that it has got the virus under control.

But as we reported a couple of days ago, US intelligence agencies have concluded the figures China is providing to the rest of the world are inaccurate.

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Medical staff treating a critical patient infected by the coronavirus at the Red Cross hospital in Wuhan. Picture: STR / AFP/ China OUT
Medical staff treating a critical patient infected by the coronavirus at the
Red Cross hospital in Wuhan. Picture: STR / AFP/ China OUTSource:AFP
 
Chinese police officers wear protective masks as wait to observe three minutes of silence to mark the country's national day of mourning for COVID-19 in Beijing . Picture: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images.
Chinese police officers wear protective masks as wait to observe three
minutes of silence to mark the country's national day of mourning for COVID-19 in Beijing.
Picture: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images
 

RELATED: Photos of urns raise questions about death rate

On Saturday, attention turned specifically to Wuhan, with suggestions the true death toll there is “16 times” higher than China has reported.

The Washington Post has taken a closer look, thoroughly examining evidence which suggests the 2500-strong death toll in Wuhan — the original epicentre of the pandemic — is actually far higher than China has admitted.
 

 

There have been long lines at Wuhan’s funeral homes in recent weeks, with crematoriums working 19-hour days and mourners waiting up to six hours for their loved ones’ remains.

News.com.au has previously reported on the unusually high number of urns being delivered to some of those funeral homes.

The Post estimates 3500 urns a day have been returned to people since March 23, implying an actual death toll of about 42,000 — “16 times the official number”.

 

A medical staff member collects a sample from a girl for a coronavirus test in Wuhan. Picture: STR / AFP / China OUT
A medical staff member collects a sample from a girl for a coronavirus test in Wuhan.
Picture: STR / AFP / China OUTSource:AFP
 

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A separate estimate, based on the number of hours furnaces are operating in Wuhan, places it at something like 46,000.

“The incinerators have been working round the clock, so how can so few people have died?” one local man reportedly said.

We should note that people are still dying of things other than the coronavirus in Wuhan, so it’s unlikely that all 40,000+ deaths are related to the disease.

But it seems equally unlikely that the official death toll is anywhere near accurate.

Source:

 Keywords: China, Coronavirus

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