Politics

China’s reported COVID cases mysteriously low amid latest outbreak

Meanwhile, the virus is spreading like wildfire through nations surrounding the communist country

Article content

With 144 million people, Russia has recently been reporting close to 40,000 new COVID-19 cases and more than 1,000 virus-related deaths every day.

Yet mysteriously, right next door is China — the most populated nation on earth with 1.4 billion citizens — and they’re in a panic over 377 locally transmitted cases reported over a nearly two-week span from Oct. 17-29.

A National Health Commission spokesperson told Reuters , “The outbreak is still developing rapidly, and the virus control situation is severe and complicated.”

China has officially reported 125,810 COVID cases and 5,696 virus-related deaths since the pandemic began, according to the World Health Organization .

Meanwhile, Canada, which has a population of just 38 million, has reported slightly more than 1.7 million COVID cases and 28,881 virus-related deaths.

Advertisement

Article content

The area of outbreak concerning the Chinese today is in the northern provinces, with infections reported from Heilongjiang, Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Beijing and Ningxia.

Interestingly, Lanzhou, the provincial capital of Gansu Province, has six cases, and as a result the city of four million has been completely shut down . Bus, rail and cab routes are all suspended; people cannot leave their homes except in an emergency.

China’s zero-COVID policy seemed to have a chance until Delta came along, but now the more-infectious variant has made it tougher for the country to police that policy.

Advertisement

Article content

COVID-19 first surfaced in 2019 in Wuhan, China, so maybe they know something we don’t know to have been able to keep those mortality numbers so low. The Chinese government declared victory over COVID by April 2020.

It’s a happy idea, since Beijing will host the 2022 Winter Olympics in February.

But ever since the pandemic first began in China, the narrative has proved to be malleable, with reports of whistleblowers being silenced and initial death counts widely disputed. Failure to report the first outbreaks in Wuhan quickly cast a pall over subsequent reports out of China on anything to do with the coronavirus.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

On one hand, the British Medical Journal confirms that excess deaths in Wuhan City in the first quarter of 2020 include some 4,500 that could be considered COVID-19-related, numbers that tally with the country’s total.

Advertisement

Article content

But during the first months of COVID, death figures from Wuhan were revised upward by 50%, and as The Guardian reported , “Photos of thousands of urns being delivered to families prompted speculation on social media about the real number of deaths, and many residents doubt the government reported figures.”

So are the figures a figment of some government official’s imagination? If not, how draconian are the zero-COVID policies being enacted?

Security personnel keep watch outside the Wuhan Institute of Virology during the visit by the World Health Organization (WHO) team tasked with investigating the origins of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Wuhan, Hubei province, China February 3, 2021.
Security personnel keep watch outside the Wuhan Institute of Virology during the visit by the World Health Organization (WHO) team tasked with investigating the origins of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Wuhan, Hubei province, China February 3, 2021. Photo by Thomas Peter /REUTERS

Global Affairs Canada stated they cannot comment on the methodology used by China to report its COVID cases.

Earlier this year, the BBC reported that the generally-held view of COVID-19 among the people of China is that it started elsewhere — despite overwhelming evidence that it originated in Wuhan.

There’s no question the country has been highly successful in controlling the coronavirus through mass testing and tracing, masking and vaccine uptake, and swift shutdowns.

The question is whether or not the truth has been just as carefully controlled as the virus.

lbraun@postmedia.com

Advertisement

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *