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NJOHSP : China Underreporting Thousands Of COVID-19 Deaths

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Over the last week, open source reporting indicates that China has severely underreported official COVID-19 deaths across the country amid the lifting of a two-month lockdown of an estimated 50 million people. In Wuhan alone, the epicenter of the outbreak, the disease has killed 42,000 people, more than 10 times the national figure reported, according to foreign open source reporting. The numbers are vastly different than originally reported by the Chinese government.

  1. On March 29, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that China reported 82,356 cases of COVID-19 and 3,306 deaths. According to official Chinese government data, 50,006 people had the disease and there were 2,535 deaths, with majority of those cases taking place in Wuhan, where the pandemic is believed to have originated. Of the figures reported by the WHO, 3,182 deaths occurred in Hubei province, where Wuhan is the capital city.
  2. In mid-March, Beijing revoked press credentials of American reporters working for the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal, expelling them from China in order to control the dissemination of statistics outside of the country regarding the disease. China maintained that US reporters were cut off in retaliation for restrictions imposed on its journalists.
  3. China has limited the flow of information since the beginning of the outbreak, according to a senior WHO expert. As the two-month lockdown of 50 million people is slowly lifted, family members are collecting the urns of their loved ones promised to them before April 4, the date of Qingming festival, where people tend the graves of their ancestors. Residents claim that seven separate funeral homes in Wuhan have each handed out 500 urns to grieving families every day. This means the ashes of 42,000 urns could be distributed in a 12-day period.

NJOHSP strongly urges the public to use legitimate and credible organizations for accurate information, as well as to fact check claims from competing sources. Rumors can easily circulate within communities during a crisis, and the spread of disinformation can be stopped by choosing trusted sources of information. For more information, please visit https://www.njohsp.gov/covid19.

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