Fox News reports Chinese officials, desperate to recast the country as a global leader that has conquered the coronavirus, have been saying that its death rates are decreasing in the city of Wuhan. The problem, residents say, is that the numbers don’t add up.
Wuhan, the first epicenter of the global outbreak, began lifting its two-month lockdown over the weekend. The city in Central China restarted some subway service, reopened its borders and allowed families to reunite.
The move is part of Beijing’s choreographed campaign to mark a turning point in China’s fight against the deadly virus, which has spread to 200 countries and infected more than 732,000 people as of Monday morning. Of those, 34,686 people have died.
Despite China’s propaganda pushers being all smiles for the international community, residents told Radio Free Asia that Beijing’s claims that there were only 2,500 deaths in Wuhan is far from reality.
For more than a week, seven large funeral homes that serve Wuhan have been handing out the cremated remains of about 500 people to their families every day. When added, the figure puts the official number the Chinese government has claimed into question.
“It can’t be right … because the incinerators have been working round the clock, so how can so few people have died,” said Zhang, a Wuhan resident who only gave Radio Free Asia his last name. “They started distributing ashes and starting interment ceremonies on Monday.”
Wuhan accounts for about 60 percent of China’s coronavirus cases, but the numbers the government has been putting out has fallen sharply in weeks, a sign, the government says, that its aggressive measures are working.
Social media users aren’t buying it and have taken the country to task, doing basic math and finding faulty figures in the government’s reporting.
The news website Caixin.com reported that 5,000 urns had been delivered by a supplier to the Hankou Funeral Home in one day. That’s double the number of deaths Xi’s officials claimed. There have also been social media posts that have claimed all seven of Wuhan’s funeral homes have handed out 3,500 urns every day.
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