How many people were really infected by the coronavirus in China and how many died?
Chinese opposition newspaper, Epoch Times, has queried the official figures of 80,000 plus infections and 3,200 deaths after 21 million cellphone users mysteriously vanished.
This has set tongues wagging and made China’s official coronavirus data doubtful.
China’s cellphone users dropped dramatically in February, from 1.601 billion to 1.58 billion according to data published in on 19 March by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).
Han Xia, China’s director of Information and Communications Administration of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, attributed drop to businesses shutting down in February in compliance with government quarantine policies.
Han said that the drop can also be explained by the shutdown of the telecom stores during the nationwide lockdown, making it impossible for people to open new accounts.
Tang Jingyuan, a US-based China affairs analysts disputed this official explanation.
“It’s impossible for a person to cancel his cellphone account,” he said.
This is because the Chinese regime requires all Chinese to use their cellphones to generate a health code, without which they cannot move around.
According to The Epoch Times, the Chinese government first launched cellphone-based health codes on March 10.
All people in China were required to install a cellphone app and register their personal health information.
“Then the app generated a QR code, which appeared in three colours, to classify the user’s health level. Red meant the person has an infectious disease, yellow meant the person might have one, and green meant the person doesn’t.
The Chinese government had said that the health codes were intended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The Epoch Times’ report raised doubts.
“The big question is whether the dramatic drop in cellphone accounts reflects the account closings of those who have died” due to the coronavirus.
“At present, we don’t know the details of the data. If only 10 percent of the cellphone accounts were closed because the users died because of the… virus, the death toll would be 2 million,” Tang told The Epoch Times.
The Epoch Times contended that the “reported death toll in China doesn’t line up with what can otherwise be determined about the situation there.”
As of Monday, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) data, the death toll in Italy was 10,781 out of 97,689 confirmed cases, and in China it was 3,310 deaths out of total of 82,447 confirmed cases.
That translates to a death rate of 11.03 percent in Italy and 4.01 percent in China, despite the latter having a much larger population which was exposed to the virus.
The Epoch Times also said that “seven funeral homes in the city of Wuhan (the epicenter of the outbreak) were reported to be burning bodies 24 hours a day, seven days a week in late January.”
It claimed Hubei province used 40 mobile cremators, each capable of burning five tons of medical waste and bodies a day, since February 16.
The report added: “Lacking data, the real death toll in China is a mystery.
“The cancellation of 21 million cellphones provides a data point that suggests the real number may be far higher than the official number.”