China's state-run media on Friday reported that the death toll in the city of Wuhan — the initial epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic — was off by almost 1,300 due to lapses in reporting.
The new numbers raised the total number of deaths in the central Chinese city by more than 50 percent to 3,869 and took the national death toll to 4,632.
Many American lawmakers, including President TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Twitter's algorithm boosts right-leaning content, internal study finds Ohio Democrat calls Vance an 'ass----' over Baldwin tweet Matt Taibbi says Trump's rhetoric caused public perception of US intelligence services to shift MORE, have speculated that China had been covering up its true number of COVID-19 deaths, but Beijing on Friday denied that the misreporting was part of a cover-up, Reuters reports.
“In the early stage, due to limited hospital capacity and the shortage of medical staff, a few medical institutions failed to connect with local disease control and prevention systems in a timely manner, which resulted in delayed reporting of confirmed cases and some failures to count patients accurately,” a Wuhan city official told the state media.
Wuhan's total number of cases was also upped by 325 to 50,333, or roughly 60 percent of mainland China's total cases.
“Medical workers at some facilities might have been preoccupied with saving lives and there existed delayed reporting, underreporting or misreporting, but there has never been any cover-up and we do not allow cover-ups,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Friday.
Earlier this month, the Chinese government reopened the city of Wuhan — where it's believed the virus originated — after more than two months of complete lockdown.