Wuhan Dramatically Raises Virus Death Toll

Almost 1.3K added to official figures
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 17, 2020 4:00 AM CDT
Updated Apr 17, 2020 6:22 AM CDT
Wuhan Dramatically Raises Virus Death Toll
A farewell ceremony is held for the last group of medical workers who came from outside Wuhan to help the city during the coronavirus outbreak, Wednesday, April 15, 2020.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

At least 50% more people died in China's virus epicenter of Wuhan than previously counted, with state media on Friday attributing the initial undercount to how overwhelmed the health system was when coping with thousands of sick patients. The addition of 1,290 victims raised Wuhan’s death toll to 3,869, the most in China by far, and may confirm suspicions that far more people died in the city where the illness began than has been previously announced, the AP reports. The total confirmed cases in the city of 11 million people also increased by 325 to 50,333, accounting for about two-thirds of China’s total 82,367 announced cases. The revised Wuhan figures raised China's death toll to 4,632, up from 3,342 announced by the National Health Commission on Friday morning.

The official Xinhua News Agency quoted an official with Wuhan’s epidemic headquarters as saying that during the early stages of the outbreak, "due to the insufficiency in admission and treatment capability, a few medical institutions failed to connect with the disease prevention and control system in time, while hospitals were overloaded," and "as a result, belated, missed and mistaken reporting occurred." Questions have long swirled around the accuracy of China’s case reporting, with Wuhan in particular going several days in January without reporting new cases or deaths. That has led to accusations that Chinese officials were seeking to minimize the impact of the outbreak and wasting opportunities to bring it under control in a shorter time. (After Chinese officials concluded they were dealing with a pandemic, they waited six days to alert the public.)

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