THE government has removed China from graphs it uses. to compare the UK’s coronavirus deaths to those elsewhere amid accusations the country has covered up the true impact of the pandemic.
The official toll in China, where the virus first broke out in December, currently stands at 4, 869, a fraction of those registered across Europe and the United States.
⚠️Read our ) coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
A graph shown at a Downing Street press briefing on Wednesday compared the death tolls of nine countries – the UK, the US, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden, South Korea, and China – over time.
On the updated graph shown on Thursday, China had been removed.
China had previously been among those countries – Germany, Sweden, and South Korea – whose death tolls plateaued early on in the outbreak and have remained below 5, .
The current tolls in the US, France, and the UK are , , , 745, and 46, 632 respectively.
Speculation has swirled about information out of China since the earliest stages of the pandemic, when reports emerged of Doctors and journalists being harassed and detained for trying to raise the alarm.
Photos have also showed huge stacks of urnsbeing delivered to funeral homes and long queues of people waiting outside to collect their loved ones’ remains.
Officials in Wuhan, the epicentre of the original outbreak, last week revised the city’s toll up by 1, in a single day, bringing the total to 3, )
The city cited incorrect reporting by overstretched hospitals as the reason for the error.
Some estimates have placed the city’s true toll since the start of the pandemic as high as , .
Speaking to Radio Free Asia , a number of Wuhan residents cast doubt on the official toll.
“It can’t be right because the incinerators have been working round the clock, so how can so few people have died?” one said.