The Chinese city of Wuhan has surprisingly corrected the number of coronavirus deaths by around 50 percent. As the authorities reported today, a further 1,290 people died of Covid-19 lung disease in the central Chinese metropolis where the pandemic started. This increases the total number of deaths in Wuhan to 3,896. Previously, 2,579 deaths had been reported.
The nationwide total of 3,342 deaths in China has not yet been officially corrected, but is likely to increase to more than 4,600. The new information confirms long-held assumptions that many cases were not included in the official Chinese statistics.
People’s Republic calls for cohesion after criticism
After fierce criticism of China’s handling of the crisis, Beijing called for international cohesion in the fight against the virus. „It is imperative that all countries unite to fight the epidemic and win the war,“ Zhao Lijian, spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, told reporters today.
The day before, French President Emmanuel Macron had questioned Beijing’s handling of the virus outbreak. Macron told the Financial Times, among other things, that it was „naive“ to claim that China’s crisis management was better than that of other countries. „Obviously things have happened that we don’t know about,“ he said.
London: Beijing has to answer “hard questions”
Criticism also came from London: Beijing has to answer „hard questions“ about the outbreak of the new corona virus, said British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab, who temporarily took over the office of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has Covid-19. China must explain „how it came about and why it couldn’t be stopped earlier“.
This increases international pressure on the Chinese government, which has already been subjected to harsh criticism from the USA in the crisis. Washington had accused Beijing of informing it too late about the outbreak of the new pathogen. The US government also said yesterday that it is following reports that the coronavirus pandemic may have started in a research laboratory in Wuhan, China.