China updates death toll in Wuhan, adds 1,300 to total, blaming reporting delays

Nearly 1,300 people who died of the coronavirus in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus was first detected, were not counted in death tolls, state media announced Friday.

The death toll for Wuhan now stands at 3,869 after China added 1,290 to the tally. It came as the number of infections increased retrospectively by 325, pushing the overall count to 50,333, according to a government statement posted online.

The updated figure follows allegations from the United States that China had failed to alert the world soon enough about the onset of the virus and that their data was skewed. Beijing has dismissed claims that there has been any kind of cover-up.

For weeks, rumors of more victims in China have been fueled by pictures of long lines of people waiting to collect ashes of cremated relatives and reports of thousands of urns stacked at a funeral home waiting to be filled.

“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,” state media cited an unidentified Wuhan official as saying.

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