Coronavirus Death Surge in China’s Wuhan amid Concerns on Incorrect Reporting

A Chinese state-run TV reported that Wuhan, the province wherein the coronavirus originated late last year and the epicenter of the virus-infected in the country, has reported that the death toll from the virus raised by 50% on Friday, April 17, 2020, bringing the total death to 3,869. The new report became the worst fear for the residents of the central city of Wuhan amid rising international doubts about Beijing’s handling of the outbreak and counting reports.

Wuhan’s New Cases Report

The central city of Wuhan reported nearly new 1,290 coronavirus victims on a single day on top of the 2,579 previously counted as of Thursday, which drew the attention of international media, leaders, and medical experts suspecting incorrect reporting, delays, and omissions from the Chinese government.

Following Friday’s report, it was widely speculated that Wuhan’s death toll was significantly higher than reported. A state broadcaster, CGTN quoted an unidentified Wuhan official as saying, “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.”

Citing the previous death report of the Chinese government, US President Donald Trump argued on Wednesday that Beijing had not been transparent about the outbreak and hurled skepticism about the country’s previous death toll claiming about 3,000. With growing suspicion over the virus report, Trump questioned, “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?”

New Virus Cases in China

With a rise of new 325 cases in Wuhan that has nearly 11 million people, the total number of the virus-infected cases reached 50,333 or about 60% of mainland China’s total. However, experts claimed that the death report was of understatement from real death due to unreported death who had not been admitted at a hospital or being tested.

Meanwhile, doctors and government officials in Wuhan have been constantly questioned about the accuracy of the death toll by journalists on government-arranged trips. Referring to the initial stage where there was a lack of testing kits, Wang Xinghuan, head of one of two field hospitals built for the outbreak, told reporters in Wuhan on April 12, “There couldn’t have been many because that was a very short period.”

Ahead of the release of the revised Wuhan report, China reported 26 new cases of the coronavirus in the mainland on Thursday, compared with 46 cases a day earlier, according to the National Health Commission. With the new numbers, the total number of virus cases in mainland China had reached 82,367. However, the report had not included patients with no clinical symptoms such as a cough or a fever in its tally of confirmed cases.

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