Coronavirus: China admits 50 per cent more died in Wuhan
China has denied covering up the true extent of its coronavirus outbreak after it revised the death toll sharply upwards amid mounting international calls for an investigation into its culpability for a global health crisis.
Officials in Wuhan, the ground zero of the coronavirus pandemic, admitted there had been mistakes in the original counting of fatalities and revised the death toll to 3,869, an increase of 50 per cent. The number of infections was also raised by 325 to 50,333.
The health officials blamed the increase on the failure to record those who died at home when hospitals were overwhelmed, as well as the failure of some of those hospitals to file complete numbers.
China’s foreign ministry acknowledged the miscounting as a matter of regret but denied that it had been deliberate. “There has never been any concealment,” Zhao Lijian, the foreign ministry spokesman, said. “We will never allow any concealment.”
Other countries, including Britain, Spain and Italy, have also been forced to revise their death tolls as fatalities prove under-reported. Last week it emerged that Britain’s official toll had not included any deaths at home or in care homes.
Wuhan’s revised total, just higher than London’s figure, appeared to come as a response to growing questions about the accuracy of its numbers and allegations that China concealed the extent of the outbreak from its own people and the outside world.