If there is one thing that the Covid-19 pandemic has shown, then it is how democracies report data versus autocracies. If you look at the stats on the Johns Hopkins website or even on ncov2019.live, then it is clear to see that the numbers coming out of China and Russia don’t make much sense.
Either the whole world is lying and the citizens of Russia and China are simply in excellent health, or (and this is probably much more likely) the Russian and Chinese authorities aim to tell their own citizens that their respective governments are doing a very fine job and therefore report bogus numbers.
China, with over a billion inhabitants one of the biggest countries in the world in terms of population size, has a remarkably low official death toll of 4.600. Russia, the largest country in the world in terms of size, has about 2.400 deaths only, also a highly suspicious number.
What is true?
The Chinese Communist Party’s system makes it difficult for outsiders to know what exactly is true, but if the research uncovered by 100reporters is accurate, than a leaked dataset of their military’s National University of Defense Technology actually shows that the Middle Kingdom didn’t realty suffer only 82,000 infections, but rather some 640,000, spread over 230 cities.
The Foreign Policy article states: ‘It can serve as a valuable trove of information for epidemiologists and public health experts around the globe — a dataset that Beijing has almost certainly not shared with US officials or doctors.’
The news that the Chinese government is trying to hide the true figures from the world and continues to reject foreign checks of it’s numbers, will only swell the belief that China is to be blamed for Covid-19. As we have shown before, the country has its place in the top 5 list of the entities that the worldwide population blames for the spread of the virus and the subsequent lockdowns which have had detrimental economic effects.
As 100reporters stated: ‘the school publishes a data tracker for the coronavirus: The online version matches with the leaked information, except it is far less detailed—it shows just the map of cases, not the distinct data.’
The news comes about one month after China admitted that the Wuhan death toll (the city where the virus first emerged) was in fact far higher than at first reported. Chinese authorities increased their count by about 50% on April 17th.
Main picture credit: Wikimedia commons