Taipei [Taiwan], April 17 (ANI): Amid a massive surge in COVID-19 cases in China, Beijing is trying to hide the real death toll by masking the cause of death.
Citing Financial Times, Taiwan News reported that if someone dies after contracting COVID-19 but had, for example, cancer, heart disease, or diabetes at the time, Chinese hospitals would not classify the death as resulting from COVID-19, but as a chronic illness instead.
The faulty methodology was confirmed by Jin Dong-yan, a virologist at Hong Kong University.
“The numbers are not accurate, but Shanghai hospitals are not necessarily doing this on purpose. From the start, China had this method of recording deaths,” he added.
The country has recorded a mere two deaths from more than 443,000 cases since March 1, both of which occurred in Jilin – a province bordering North Korea. Yet, according to a report, several people directly informed the Financial Times directly that their relatives in Shanghai had passed away after contracting the disease, reported Taiwan News.
The gap in reporting comes down to how Chinese authorities classify deaths. China’s methodology for denoting the cause of death among those who have contracted COVID-19 is masking the true death toll of its latest Omicron wave, according to health experts interviewed by the Financial Times.
Meanwhile, official underreporting risks triggering another wave of criticism of Beijing’s handling of the pandemic similar to the backlash over its mismanagement of the virus’ initial outbreak when it first appeared in Wuhan in 2020 (then known as the “Wuhan virus”), reported Taiwan News.
Simmering discontent over Xi Jinping’s war on Omicron is beginning to boil over from Shanghai to the rest of China.
Across China, cities are locking down their residents, supply lines are rupturing, and officials are scrambling to secure the movement of basic goods — as its largest ever recorded outbreak of COVID-19 threatens to spiral into a national crisis of the government’s own making.
At least 44 Chinese cities are under either a full or partial lockdown as authorities persist in trying to curb the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant. (ANI)