Despite Chinese authorities' daily updates being positive for a while now, reporting a clear slow in the number of people contracting the novel coronavirus, some Wuhan locals seem to have a different narrative.
While official numbers point at 82k confirmed cases and more than 3k deaths, most of which were reported in Wuhan city, the epicenter of COVID-19, some news sources have been suspecting that the number of the pandemic's victims in China might surpass tens of thousands, referring to numbers of cremation urns in Wuhan.
In China, a mortality rate of about 3% has been reported by official authorities, but local media outlets published pictures, taken last week, of long lines of people. They stated that thousands of people were instructed to visit 8 funeral homes in the city to pick up ashes of their loved ones who lost their lives to COVID-19.
How many people died in #Wuhan and #China?— Coronavirus Updates ? (@Covid19update32) March 27, 2020
Conservative estimation based on numbers of urns being given out at 8 crematoriums in Wuhan by financial analyst @charles984681
Total death in Wuhan: 59K
Total death in China: 97K
Total infection in China: 1.21 M#coronavirus #COVID2019 pic.twitter.com/TEmz9ZCmsE
Beijing-based Caixin reported that trucks have "dropped off about 5k urns over two days to one funeral home only, while 3500 others were stacked in the facility," suggesting that the high number of urns is proof of a drastically high number of victims, as opposed to official figures.
One funeral parlor offer 6000 urns per day, 8 parlors in wuhan, so it comes to 64,000. Normal fatalities are 5000 per year. That’s saying at least 59,000 people died from Wuhan virus. pic.twitter.com/1r0aUY5znP— theDavidChan2 (@chan2_the) March 26, 2020
According to Newsweek, Wuhan locals believe that about 26k people might have died of the coronavirus in the city.
Claims of the alleged Chinese attempts to cover up the real numbers of victims have been widely supported by US officials, who have repeatedly accused China of hiding crucial information related to the disease earlier this year, justifying the spiking number of cases in the US by the lack of credible updates from the country where the virus first emerged.
Questions arise about the Chinese government's official coronavirus death rate for Wuhan--supposedly 2,500--as the number of urns arriving at funeral homes far exceeds that figure. Then Chinese officials began deleting the images from social media. https://t.co/XZKnrbMN6z pic.twitter.com/nCpiuT3Onv— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) March 27, 2020
Just two weeks ago the head of Emergency at Wuhan Central hospital went public, saying authorities had stopped her and her colleagues from warning the world. She has now disappeared, her whereabouts unknown. #60Mins pic.twitter.com/3Jt2qbLKUb— 60 Minutes Australia (@60Mins) March 29, 2020
Human Rights Watch Director Kenneth Roth has also questioned the credibility of the official Chinese numbers, especially after Chinese officials have started removing viral funeral home photos.
The deadly virus, generated in a wet market in Wuhan last December, before wreaking havoc across the world with about 35k victims worldwide, according to official numbers
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