After China abruptly raised its coronavirus death count on April 17, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that many countries will revise their toll once they get the coronavirus crisis under control. Wuhan revised its death count by 50 per cent with 1,290 more fatalities due to coronavirus, taking the toll death toll in the city to 3,869 and across China to 4,632.
China’s transparency over its handling of coronavirus has been questioned around the world and more overtly by US President Donald Trump. Trump took to Twitter alleging the death toll in China is “far higher” than the revised count and went on to claim that it is far higher than the United States.
China has just announced a doubling in the number of their deaths from the Invisible Enemy. It is far higher than that and far higher than the U.S., not even close!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 17, 2020
WHO’s COVID-19 Technical Lead Maria van Kerkhove told the virtual news conference that the overwhelming numbers of coronavirus patients in Wuhan crippled the authorities in recording the death toll and infections properly. Van Kerkhove said that identifying all the COVID-19 cases and deaths is a challenge in the ongoing outbreak.
"I would anticipate that many countries are going to be in a similar situation where they will have to go back and review records and look to see: did we capture all of them?" she added.
Van Kerkhove told the press conference that Wuhan authorities revised the death toll after reviewing their databases and cross-checking for discrepancies. She said that some of the coronavirus patients died at home while some of them died at makeshift facilities due to which medics did not do paperwork on time.
"All countries will face this," added Michael Ryan, the WHO's emergencies director.
According to the latest report, over 2.2 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed worldwide with over 154,200 deaths, overwhelming the health care facilities across the globe. The United States, Italy, Spain and France are the worst-hit countries due to the pandemic with around 64 per cent of death toll reported from these four countries alone.
(Image credit: Twitter / @mvankerkhove)