China official says more 1,290 people died of Coronavirus than previously reports as US President Trump’s claim that the country lied to the world about it’s death figures.
The US and UK have also questioned the accuracy of China’s case figures amid accusations that Beijing sought to minimise the impact of the outbreak and initial delays in its response to the disease
Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus first emerged late last year, admitted people died at home and cases were missed as hospitals struggled to cope in the early days of the outbreak.
In the new revised figures, Wuhan’s revised death toll of 3,869 is the highest in China, representing a 50 percent rise from its previous count. Numbers of total cases in the city of 11 million were also raised by 325 to 50,333, accounting for about two-thirds of China’s total 82,367 announced cases.
The revisions came as a number of world leaders suggested China had not been entirely open about the full domestic impact of a virus that has now killed more than 140,000 people around the world, and confined half of humanity to their homes.
Chinese State controlled Xinhua News Agency quoted an unidentified official in Wuhan’s epidemic and prevention and control headquarters as saying mistaken reporting occurred during the outbreak.
“A surging number of patients at the early stage of the pandemic overwhelmed medical resources and the admission capacity of medical institutions,” the Wuhan Municipal Headquarters for COVID-19 Epidemic Prevention and Control, said in a statement posted to state news agency Xinhua.
“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.”
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian acknowledged the virus’s rapid spread contributed to undercounting that resulted in China raising its death toll, but added “there has never been any concealment, and we’ll never allow any concealment”.
After compiling data from Wuhan’s epidemic prevention and control big data system, the city’s funeral service system, the municipal hospital authority’s information system, and the nucleic acid test system to ‘remove double-counted cases and fill in missed cases,’
Chinese officials say the new death cases were added because non-hospitalized deaths had not been registered at the disease control information system and some confirmed cases had been reported late or not been reported at all by some medical institutions.
China has now denied editing its official death toll for political purposes.
The strict review and correction of the death toll means there is no room for deliberate concealment,” the paper said. “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.”