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Global Times

Chinese ambassador refutes doubts about coronavirus death toll

Global Times

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/1 23:40:06

Approximately 10,000 people died in Wuhan in the past two months because of other reasons, plus more than 2,000 victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, which explains clearly why there was a long line in front of funeral homes in the city after they reopened on March 23, Chinese Ambassador to France Lu Shaye told the French media.

According to the latest official statistics, more than 2,500 people died in Wuhan, where the first COVID-19 cases were reported. The data is accurate, Lu stressed in an interview with BFM, a French television station, which showed online videos of long queues in front of funeral homes amid questions over China's official data about Wuhan's death rate.

Lu noted that a total of 51,200 people died in Wuhan in 2019 - approximately 4,000 per month - and more people die in winter, which brings the death number of the past months to approximately 5,000 per month. It is estimated approximately 10,000 people in Wuhan died of reasons other than COVID-19, according to Lu.

Wuhan has been sealed off since January 23, which means urns for those deaths haven't been collected in two months, so there were long lines in front of funeral homes, explained Lu.

Some Western media outlets made bold but dubious estimates, using the pictures of the long queues and some local residents' statements. Newsweek suggested that Wuhan might have had a death toll of 26,000.

Lu was also asked why videos and pictures of the long queues were "censored" by the Chinese government. Lu said, "if they were censored, where did you got those pictures and videos?"

Lu said the pandemic has been basically controlled by the Chinese government, except for some sporadic cases. Now the measures have been eased in China except in Wuhan and economic activities have resumed, with 96 percent of companies re-starting production activities, said Lu.

Lu said that China is doing everything it can to help countries in need, because many countries also offered help to China when it faced difficulties.



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