Liz Braun: China’s reported COVID cases mysteriously low amid latest outbreak
Opinion: Meanwhile, the virus is spreading like wildfire through nations surrounding the communist country
With 144 million people, Russia has recently been reporting close to 40,000 new COVID-19 cases and more than 1,000 virus-related deaths every day.
The area of outbreak concerning the Chinese today is in the northern provinces, with infections reported from Heilongjiang, Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Beijing and Ningxia.
Interestingly, Lanzhou, the provincial capital of Gansu Province, has six cases, and as a result the city of four million has been completely shut down . Bus, rail and cab routes are all suspended; people cannot leave their homes except in an emergency.
China’s zero-COVID policy seemed to have a chance until Delta came along, but now the more-infectious variant has made it tougher for the country to police that policy.
COVID-19 first surfaced in 2019 in Wuhan, China, so maybe they know something we don’t know to have been able to keep those mortality numbers so low. The Chinese government declared victory over COVID by April 2020.
It’s a happy idea, since Beijing will host the 2022 Winter Olympics in February.
But ever since the pandemic first began in China, the narrative has proved to be malleable, with reports of whistleblowers being silenced and initial death counts widely disputed. Failure to report the first outbreaks in Wuhan quickly cast a pall over subsequent reports out of China on anything to do with the coronavirus.
On one hand, the British Medical Journal confirms that excess deaths in Wuhan City in the first quarter of 2020 include some 4,500 that could be considered COVID-19-related, numbers that tally with the country’s total.
But during the first months of COVID, death figures from Wuhan were revised upward by 50%, and as The Guardian reported , “Photos of thousands of urns being delivered to families prompted speculation on social media about the real number of deaths, and many residents doubt the government reported figures.”
So are the figures a figment of some government official’s imagination? If not, how draconian are the zero-COVID policies being enacted?
Global Affairs Canada stated they cannot comment on the methodology used by China to report its COVID cases.
Earlier this year, the BBC reported that the generally-held view of COVID-19 among the people of China is that it started elsewhere — despite overwhelming evidence that it originated in Wuhan.
There’s no question the country has been highly successful in controlling the coronavirus through mass testing and tracing, masking and vaccine uptake, and swift shutdowns.
The question is whether or not the truth has been just as carefully controlled as the virus.