The Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus abruptly rose its death toll by 50 per cent, claiming that many fatalities were “mistakenly” reported or missed. This comes as western nations led by the US are increasingly questioning China’s transparency regarding the pandemic.
Wuhan city’s government took to social media to announce that it had added 1,290 more death cases to the city’s tally. The new addition pushes the toll to 3,869, the most number of COVID-19 related fatalities. It also increases the nationwide toll up by nearly 39 per cent to 4,6,32, international media reported citing China’s official data released on April 17.
Western nations have recently increased their pressure on China and are now probing whether the virus originated in a laboratory in Wuhan. On the other hand, China has reiterated its claims that the coronavirus originated in the ‘wet markets’ where exotic animals are sold for human consumption.
Defending its late admissions, Wuhan’s Epidemic Prevention and Control Headquarters cited several reasons for missed cases. It said that city’s medical staffs were overwhelmed in the early days as infections climbed, leading to late reporting, omission and missed reporting. The department also cited insufficient testing and treatment facilities and said that some patients died at home and thus their deaths were not properly reported.
On April 15, China shut down one of its largest makeshift hospitals built in February to treat the surging COVID-19 infections in Wuhan, the epicentre of the pandemic, as the last group of thousands of medical workers deployed to fight the outbreak reportedly left the city.
The makeshift Leishenshan (Thunder God Mountain) Hospital ceased operation in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, on Wednesday as the coronavirus epidemic wanes, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. It was one of the two over a 1000-bed capacity hospital built in 10 days to treat the COVID-19 patients amid a glare of national and international publicity to curb the virus.