(Natural News) Amid reports that China may be understating the severity of the current coronavirus outbreak, a New Zealand newspaper reported an allegation that would indicate the death toll is much higher than ‘official’ numbers.
According to the New Zealand Herald, Chinese officials have been accused of cremating victims of the virus, suggesting that many more have perished than Beijing has admitted:
World health officials, back from a visit to Beijing, expressed great concern that a dangerous new virus was spreading between people outside of China, even as the number of illnesses continue to grow dramatically inside that Asian nation.
The new virus has now infected more people in China than were sickened during the 2002-2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak. On Wednesday, the number of cases jumped to 5974, surpassing the 5327 people diagnosed with SARS.
Officially as of Friday, the death toll in China stood at 132, less than half the 348 people who reportedly died from the SARS virus.
But “doubts have been raised about the official death toll,” the paper noted, “with claims that Chinese authorities have been cremating bodies in secret.”
One Chinese language news outlet, Initium, claimed to have interviewed workers at a local cremation center in Wuhan, a city of 11 million in central China where the coronavirus outbreak originated.
Officials reportedly told the outlet that bodies are being sent to the crematorium directly from hospitals without proper identification and without being added to the official death toll.
Also, one thing that #China is hiding is the number of death caused by the virus. Credible Chinese media outlet @initiumnews interviewed people working at local cremation centers, confirming that many dead bodies were sent directly from the hospitals to the cremation centers…
— William Yang (@WilliamYang120) January 29, 2020
“So there are reasons to remain skeptical about what China has been sharing with the world because while they have been more transparent about certain things related to the virus, they continue to be sketchy and unreliable in other aspects,” noted DW News East Asia correspondent William Yang.
Global health officials are clearly concerned about the spread of the virus
The possibility that the Chinese government is underestimating the virus’ death toll is very real, considering how tightly controlled all information is coming into and out of the country. The government literally controls all health agencies, of course, as well as all media that is broadcast and social media that is posted.
So it wouldn’t be difficult to craft a narrative that the disease is under control and the official death toll thus far is low.
But health experts around the globe are already increasingly concerned simply because of the rapid spread of the virus and the rising death toll in other countries.
Plus, WHO officials noted Thursday that they weren’t so concerned with China’s handling of the outbreak but rather its spread to other countries with fewer resources.
“Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems and which are ill prepared to deal with it,” said WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“The vast majority of cases outside of China have a travel history to Wuhan or contact with someone with a travel history to Wuhan. We don’t know what sort of damage this virus could do if it were to spread to a country with a weaker health system.”
The organization declared a global emergency due to the coronavirus earlier this week.
Days ago, China began to quarantine millions of people as the virus began to quickly spread. On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S. also quarantined 195 American evacuees who lived in Wuhan.
Natural News founder Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, reported that “the CDC is not wrong to do this. In fact, they would have been dangerously wrong if they failed to do this.”
He also noted that the federal government has not done nearly enough to block potentially infected people from illegally crossing the U.S. border, though to President Trump’s credit, he’s managed more than his predecessors.