Chinese state media reported on Friday that the actual coronavirus death toll in Wuhan is at least 50% higher than reported, The Associated Press reports.
The report said that 1,290 victims were added to the death toll in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, bringing the total to 3,869.
China’s death toll now stands at 4,632, up from the previously reported 3,342.
The United States has had a much tougher time trying to contain the virus than China, which quickly imposed a severe lockdown on the affected area.
The US reported on Thursday that 4,591 people died of the coronavirus over the previous 24 hours, bringing the death toll to more than 33,000.
China says “several” reasons for miscount:
The state news agency said that the previous count did not include deaths of people who passed away at home because of overwhelmed hospitals as well as deaths at medical institutions that were not part of the main network.
“As a result, belated, missed and mistaken reporting occurred,” an unidentified official at the Wuhan response headquarters told the news agency.
China has faced criticism after it cracked down on medical workers that sounded the alarm about the disease on social media and was accused of covering up cases.
“The data released by Wuhan reflects openness and transparency and an attitude of seeking truth from facts,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Friday.
NYC revises too:
New York City, the hardest-hit city in the world, also added more than 3,700 additional victims believed to have died from the coronavirus.
The additional victims are presumed to have died from the virus but either never tested positive or were never tested at all.
Most of the deaths took place at hospitals but others were in nursing homes and care facilities.
The city believes there may be many more deaths that occurred in homes that have not been added to the overall count.