WORLD China's COVID-19 death toll revision to 'leave no case undocumented:' WHO

WORLD

China's COVID-19 death toll revision to 'leave no case undocumented:' WHO

Global Times

17:11, April 18, 2020

(File photo: Global Times)

Friday China’s rectified COVID-19 death toll is “to leave no case undocumented,” adding that since the systems of many countries are overwhelmed, they would also need to amend the data.

“We are aware of the new number that was reported from China… This was done in an attempt to leave no case undocumented,” Dr Maria Van Kerkhove of WHO said at a news briefing. “They view different data bases… They looked at the funeral service systems. They looked at hospital systems. They looked at laboratories to see if there were any duplications or if there were any cases missing.”

The city of Wuhan in Central China's Hubei Province modified its COVID-19 death toll to 3,869 on Friday, an increase of 1,290 from the previous figure, after the local government altered its counting method. The revision also means the death toll in the Chinese mainland increased from 3,342 to 4,632.

This is a responsible revision in accordance with laws and regulations, Chinese experts noted, adding that this is also solace for the deceased who died of the epidemic and their bereaved families and explanation for the entire Chinese society.

Reporting accurately the lives claimed by COVID-19 is crucial to understanding the virus, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove said.

In a WHO briefing on Friday, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO also discussed WHO’s position on the wet markets.

“Wet markets are an important source of affordable food and livelihood for millions of people all over the world. But in many places, they have been poorly regulated and poorly maintained,” Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

“WHO’s position is that when these markets are allowed to reopen, it should only be on the condition that they conform to stringent food safety and hygiene standards. Governments must rigorously enforce bans on the sale and trade of wildlife for food,” he said.

The Global Times conducted a thorough field investigation of the wet markets in Wuhan, Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, and found that they are strictly regulated by local authorities. Besides, no wild animal trade was seen in these markets.

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