US, UK and France accuse Beijing of hiding the truth about the origin of COVID-19
US Presidents Donald Trump and French Emmanuel Macron accused China of hiding the true number of corona virus deaths, saying that the outcome is much higher than announced, after a new toll containing a higher number of deaths was reported in Wuhan, where the epidemic appeared.
These accusations are the latest in the context of a words’ war sparked by the emergence of the Corona virus and its rapid spread in most countries of the world.
“China has just announced doubling the number of deaths from the invisible enemy covid-19. It is much higher than what have been announced and much higher than the United States, not nearly close!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
It seems that the US President was referring to the sudden increase of 50 percent in the death toll in Wuhan.
The US administration has accused China for weeks of “hiding” the seriousness of the virus. It announced on Thursday, the opening of an” investigation” into the origins of the Covid-19 epidemic, citing the hypothesis that it was sourced from a laboratory in Wuhan that studies viruses and has “leaked” from it.
French President Emmanuel Macron pointed the finger of accusation Thursday at Beijing, as did American officials. “There are obviously things that have happened and we don’t know,” Macron told the British Financial Times, questioning the death toll announced by China.
In London, Secretary of State Dominic Rapp also announced that Beijing should answer “difficult questions about the emergence of the virus and why it could not be stopped early.”
In the face of these accusations, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Legian stressed on Friday that “there has been no concealment of information and we will not allow any concealment,” even if he acknowledged that there was “delay” and “omission” in the death registration.
The Wuhan municipality justified its failure to count the new deaths in the basic outcome by the fact that the patients died in their homes, not in hospitals.
The new toll was released after the world’s growing doubts about the transparency of Chinese numbers. Wuhan officials said a mistake had been made in calculating the number of deaths to which they added 1,290 deaths to the toll of the city where most of the officially recognized deaths in China were registered as a result of the emerging Corona virus.
Since it appeared at the end of 2019 in central China’s Wuhan, the virus has spread to more than two million people worldwide. With the spread of domestic confinement imposed on more than 4.4 billion people, while partial or full unemployment affected tens of millions of people, including 22 million in the United States alone.
Germany announced on Friday, that the epidemic is “under control”, noting that stores will soon resume work, with schools opening their doors again from May 4th.
It is generally believed that the new Corona virus appeared in a market in Wuhan in which live wild animals were sold for the purpose of consumption, and that the virus had moved in this market from animals to humans and had mutated.
However, American media presented another theory. The Washington Post reported that the US embassy in Beijing informed Washington two years ago about insufficient security measures in a local laboratory that studies corona viruses in bats, while Fox News reported that the emerging virus came from this laboratory. In particular, even if it is a natural virus, not a compound, it may be an accidental “leak” as a result of improper preventive measures.
The global epidemic has reached 145,673 deaths out of 218,740 cases, which have been officially counted in 193 countries. The United States is the country that is most affected by the epidemic, with 33,000 deaths out of 671425 cases, followed by Italy (22170 deaths out of 168941 cases), then Spain (19,478 deaths out of 188068 cases), France (18,681 deaths out of 165027 cases), and the United Kingdom (14576 Death out of 108,692 cases).
There is still controversy over the death toll in Spain, where some regions say the figures are below the actual number. The confusion increased as the authorities changed the method of counting deaths, which led to a change in the numbers announced in the past days.
In Italy, about 17,000 health workers were infected with the emerging coronavirus, which represents 10 percent of the total number of infections in this country, according to the Higher Institute of Health.
In neighboring Belgium, the epidemic has caused the death of more than five thousand people, most of them in nursing homes, according to the latest official toll.
The World Bank announced on Friday that the economic crisis caused by the global epidemic may erase the progress made in the development of poor countries in recent years, warning of “an unprecedented crisis, health, economic and social repercussions will be devastating throughout the world.”