China revises up Wuhan coronavirus death toll by 1,290 to 3,869 days after Donald Trump accused Beijing of a cover up – The Sun
CHINA has revised Wuhan’s coronavirus death toll up by 1,290 to 3869 after the bungling of hospital reporting, admits an official.
The revelation comes as US President Donald Trump continues to voice his support for an investigation into whether the virus was created in or released from a Chinese lab.
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Chinese state media said on Friday the undercount had been due to the insufficient admission capabilities at overwhelmed medical facilities at the peak of the outbreak.
Wuhan's revised death toll of 3,869 is the most in China – and is a 50 per cent rise on the previous reported total.
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.
China's official Xinhua News Agency quoted an unidentified official based at Wuhan's epidemic and prevention and control headquarters.
That source was claimed to have said as that because of "the insufficiency in admission and treatment capability, a few medical institutions failed to connect with the disease prevention and control system in time.
They attributed this to occurring during the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak "while hospitals were overloaded and medics were overwhelmed with patients.
"As a result, belated, missed and mistaken reporting occurred."
Associated Press (AP) pointed out that the embarrassing stats glitch will add to unanswered questions surrounding the accuracy of China's case reporting.
This is particularly as Wuhan – the original epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak – went several days in January without reporting new cases or deaths.
That has led to accusations that Chinese officials were seeking to minimise the impact of the outbreak and wasted opportunities to bring it under control in a shorter time.
An investigation by AP found that China didn’t warn public of likely pandemic for "six key days".
Top Chinese officials allegedly knew they were likely facing a pandemic from a new coronavirus in the city of Wuhan.
But it was kept secret for six days, allowing that city to host a mass banquet for tens of thousands of people.
Plus, millions began travelling through for Lunar New Year celebrations.
It wasn't until the seventh day that bosses knew of the killer bug President Xi Jinping warned the public on January 20.
But by that time, more than 3,000 people had been infected during almost a week of public silence.
This revelation is according to internal documents obtained by AP and expert estimates based on retrospective infection data.
Unfortunately, aside from China, governments around the world have dragged their feet for weeks and even months in addressing the new virus.
But the delay by the first country to face the new coronavirus came at a critical time — the beginning of the outbreak, points out AP.
Its attempt to avoiding panicking people, while alerting them of the looming danger, set the stage for a pandemic that has now infected more than two million people and taken more than 146,000 lives across the globe.
China was urged to come clean last night over claims coronavirus originated in a lab.
Bungling scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology accidentally spread the killer during risky coronavirus tests on bats, US and British intelligence officials fear.
Patient Zero, the first person to contract Covid-19, was an intern there who infected her boyfriend, it was being claimed.
President Donald Trump said the US was trying to establish if coronavirus first crossed to humans during the bat tests.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointed out that the WIV was “just a handful of miles” from the live animal market which Chinese officials rushed to pinpoint as the source of the outbreak.
Calling for more transparency from China, he added: “There is still lots to learn. The United States government is working diligently to figure it out.
Pompeo said: "The mere fact that we don't know the answers – that China hasn't shared the answers I think is very, very telling."
Experts overwhelmingly say analysis of the new coronavirus genome rules out the possibility that it was engineered by humans, as some conspiracy theories have suggested.
Nor is it likely that the virus emerged from a negligent laboratory in China, they have said.
US officials say the American Embassy in Beijing did flag concerns about potential safety issues at the WIV lab in Wuhan in 2018, but stressed there is no evidence that the virus originated there nearly two years later.
Wuhan is once again selling meat from its controversial wet markets after the city emerged from official lockdown last week.
The re-opening of the controversial markets was slammed as "unfathomable" by Australia's PM, Scott Morrison.
Did the coronavirus start in a lab?
American spooks reckon the coronavirus likely occurred naturally, as opposed to being created in a laboratory in China.
But there is no certainty either way, the top US general said on Tuesday.
Army General Mark Milley was asked whether he had any evidence that the virus began in a Chinese laboratory and was perhaps released accidentally.
Reuters reported on April 14 that Milley was "non-committal at a Pentagon news briefing".
China has already dismissed as a conspiracy theory that the virus emerged from a lab.
Milley said: "There's a lot of rumour and speculation in a wide variety of media, the blog sites, etc.
"It should be no surprise to you that we've taken a keen interest in that and we've had a lot of intelligence take a hard look at that.
"And I would just say, at this point, it's inconclusive although the weight of evidence seems to indicate natural.
"But we don't know for certain."
In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian alleged on Twitter last month that the US Army might have "brought the epidemic to Wuhan".
The claim was denounced by the US government and angered President Donald Trump.
America's State Department said at the time that China was seeking to deflect criticism of its role in "starting a global pandemic and not telling the world".
As far back as February, the Chinese state-backed Wuhan Institute of Virology pushed back against rumours that the virus may have been artificially synthesised at one of its laboratories or perhaps got out from there.
A team of 27 scientists published a statement in the Lancet medical journal in February condemning the conspiracy theories.
They said such theories "do nothing but create fear, rumours and prejudice that jeopardise our global collaboration in the fight against this virus."
Scientists from around the world "overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife," they added.
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