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Could over 40,000 people have died in Wuhan due to Coronavirus?

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Mumbai: China has lifted its two-month lockdown in the city of Wuhan. Wuhan is reportedly the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic. The virus that originated in China has now spread globally.  11, 41, 069 positive COVID-19 cases have been registered and over 61,199 deaths reported globally.

As of today April 4th 2020, China has reported 81,639 cases of COVID-19 and registered 3,326 deaths. But residents of Wuhan have told Radio Free Asia that they are growing increasingly skeptical that the figures of the deaths was accurate.

In fact some city residents  of Wuhan revealed on social media that Wuhan’s funeral homes were ‘handing out 3,500 urns everyday’. 

Since the start of the week, seven large funeral homes in Wuhan have been handing out the cremated remains of around 500 people to their families every day, suggesting that far more people died than ever made the official statistics reported Radio Free Asia (RFA). Radio Free Asia is a United States government funded non-profit international broadcasting corporation reporting on East Asia.

“It cannot be right because the incinerators have been working round the clock, so how can so few people have died?” an Wuhan resident surnamed Zhang told RFA on Friday.

Currently seven funeral homes serve Wuhan. 

RFA report further states that funeral homes had informed families that they will try to complete cremations before the traditional grave-tending festival of Qing Ming on April 5, which would indicate a 12-day process beginning on March 23.

The report quotes a source close to the provincial civil affairs on condition of anonymity who stated that many people died at home, without being diagnosed with or treated for COVID-19. “Any talk of the true number of deaths in Wuhan was very sensitive, but that the authorities do likely know the real figure. Every funeral home reports data on cremations directly to the authorities twice daily. This means that each funeral home only knows how many cremations it has conducted, but not the situation at the other funeral homes. Wuhan saw 28,000 cremations in the space of a single month, suggesting that the online estimates over a two-and-a-half month period weren’t excessive.”

April 4th today is Tomb-Sweeping Day. But many in Wuhan have not been able to bury their dead since the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.

U.S. intelligence agencies in their Confidential Report to US President Donald Trump stated that China’s official numbers are much lower than reality.

Anna Fifield, Bureau Chief of The Washington Post in Beijing tweeted, “Official Chinese statistics put Wuhan’s coronavirus death toll at 2,563. Evidence coming out of the city suggests it was actually more than 40,000.”. She shared the article of The Washington Post – ‘Chinese families should be sweeping graves now. But thousands still haven’t buried their dead.’

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