China responds to widespread skepticism over official reports . . .
China revised its coronavirus death toll today in the city of Wuhan to include previously unreported deaths in homes and hospitals at a time when the outbreak overwhelmed the health-care system. Officials placed the new tally at 3,869 deaths in the central Chinese city, an increase of 1,290 from the previous figure. The revisions follow accusations that China concealed the gravity of the outbreak, and some analysts see them as an attempt by Beijing to ramp up public trust, both globally and in China. Wuhan lifted its strict lockdown policy on April 8, but many restrictions remain in place.
Nowhere near normalcy in Wuhan . . .
It is now possible for Wuhan citizens to travel within and out of the city, and to return to work as transportation and businesses slowly reopen at a limited capacity. Many restrictions on movement, however, remain active, and a number of neighbourhoods and housing complexes remain under lockdown, while all are at risk of being locked down again if new cases arise. When people venture out they must navigate frequent checkpoints where their temperature is taken and their health status is checked via a virtual passport.
Long road ahead for Canada . . .
Prime Minister Trudeau announced this week that it will be weeks before COVID-19 restrictions can be lifted in Canada, and that the country won’t go back to normal until a vaccine is developed. While it is encouraging that Wuhan is able and willing to ease restrictions, the policies still in place are in many ways much stricter than current policies in Canada. The sudden rise in Wuhan’s death toll only reminds us how hard it is to track the spread of the virus in the community. The city’s gradual reopening also demonstrates the risks associated with moving too fast when there still exists the spectre of a devastating ‘second wave’ of infections.
- Business in Vancouver: Wuhan reopening provides Vancouver with a view of what post-COVID life may look like
- The Guardian: 'Lockdown is not over' for people of Wuhan, despite easing of restrictions
- The New York Times: China raises coronavirus death toll by 50% in Wuhan