Chinese Revise Number of Virus Deaths in Wuhan. But Are They Reliable?
Written by R. Cort Kirkwood
China’s communist regime has updated the number of COVID-19 fatalities in Wuhan, ground zero for the virus, but even the new figures might be well below the number of those who actually died.
The new number, just more than 3,800, is about 1.5 times that of the old number.
Question is, can it be trusted given the communists’ record of lies about the outbreak.
The New Figures
China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported the new figures from the Wuhan Municipal Headquarters for COVID-19 Epidemic Prevention and Control.
City authorities, Xinhua reported, “have pooled their efforts to compare the COVID-19 case information in the Wuhan municipal COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control big data system, the municipal funeral service system, the municipal hospital authority’s COVID-19 information system, and the municipal novel coronavirus nucleic acid test system to remove double-counted cases and fill in missed cases.”
They’re “aiming to leave no COVID-19 case undocumented,” “collect full information from all epidemic-related locations,” and “screen and verify every case with health institutions, communities and neighborhoods, primary-level police stations, employers and families of COVID-19 patients.”
Thus far, the recount says 50,333 in Wuhan were or are infected and 3,869 have died. Authorities revised the first figure upward by 325 cases from 50,008, Xinhua reported. The second increased 1,290 from 2,579.
The COVID-19 headquarters blamed the discrepancies on the “surging number of patients at the early stage of the epidemic [that] overwhelmed medical resources and the admission capacity of medical institutions.”
Patients died at home without treatment, the COVID-19 headquarters reported, and “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.”
Wuhan and its myriad health facilities were not fully linked to the epidemic information network and did not report data on time, the statement claimed. Last, information about the dead was incomplete and the data were riddled with “repetitions and mistakes in the reporting.”
Are Those Numbers Reliable?
But those figures mightn’t be reliable either if past reporting is right.
The Hankou Funeral Home’s crematorium was operating 19 hours a day, with male staffers enlisted to help carry bodies. In just two days, the home received 5,000 urns, the respected magazine Caixin reported.
Using photos posted online, social-media sleuths have estimated that Wuhan funeral homes have returned 3,500 urns a day since March 23. That would imply a death toll in Wuhan of about 42,000 — or 16 times the official number. Another widely shared calculation from Radio Free Asia, based on Wuhan’s 84 furnaces running nonstop and each cremation taking an hour, put the death toll at 46,800.
In other words, the new official death toll in Wuhan, 3,869, is just a shade more than the number of corpses cremated every day in Wuhan.
And if 84 furnaces were cremating corpses 24-7, they would reach the new official figure for total deaths in a little less than two days.
The Post quoted city dwellers who didn’t believe the numbers then, which invites the question of why they should believe them now, given the vast discrepency in reports.
The calculations, of course, assume the numbers in the Post were correct.
The official number doesn’t much matter now, and nothing changes whether it’s revised one or more times.
The horse escaped the barn months ago, when the Chinese concealed the outbreak for almost a week as Lunar New Year revelers packed Wuhan, then low-balled virus cases and fatalities, as The New American reported, which in turn slowed the U.S. and global response to the pandemic.
On Wednesday, Fox News divulged that China lied about the source of the virus by blaming the wet markets that sell dogs, cats, and exotic wildlife — including the bats that carry SARS-CoV-2 — for human consumption.
U.S. officials believe the virus escaped a lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where unqualified technicians worked with the virus. One of them, patient zero, spread the virus in Wuhan.
Courtesy of The New American