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Beijing, April 17, 2020
China today announced a significant upward revision in the number of deaths due to coronavirus (COVID-19) in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, raising it by 1,290 to 3,869.
Wuhan is the city where the coronavirus pandemic began in December 2019 and spread to more than 200 countries and territories in the months that followed, infecting more than 2.158 million people and claiming more than 145,500 lives so far.
Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, said today that 3,342 people had died of the disease on the Chinese mainland so far.With the additional numbers from Wuhan now, the death toll in the country would rise to about 4,632.
The country's National Health Commission (NHC) said it had received reports of 26 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on the mainland Thursday, of which 15 were imported. No death was reported Thursday on the mainland.
Among the 11 cases that were domestically transmitted, five were reported in Guangdong Province, three in Heilongjiang Province, two in Shandong Province and one in Liaoning Province.
As of Thursday, the Chinese mainland had reported a total of 1,549 imported cases. Of them, 670 had been discharged from hospitals after recovery and 879 were being treated with 45 in severe condition, the report said.
No new confirmed cases were reported in central China's Hubei Province Thursday.
Xinhua said the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wuhan as of April 16 was revised up by 325 to 50,333, and the number of fatalities up by 1,290 to 3,869.
In a notification, the Wuhan municipal headquarters for the COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control gave four reasons for the discrepancies in the data released earlier.
It said the surging numbers of patients in the early stages of the pandemic had overwhelmed medical resources and the admission capacity of medical institutions. Some patients died at home without having been treated in hospitals.
At the height of the outbreak, hospitals were operating beyond their capacities and medical staff were preoccupied with saving and treating patients, resulting in belated, missed and mistaken reporting, it said.
Due to a rapid increase in the number of designated hospitals for treating COVID-19 patients, including those administered by ministries, Hubei Province, Wuhan city and its districts, those affiliated to companies, as well as private hospitals and makeshift hospitals, a few medical institutions were not linked to the epidemic information network and failed to report their data in time.
The registered information of some of the deceased patients was incomplete, and there were repetitions and mistakes in the reporting, it said.
An official told journalists that a group for epidemic-related big data and epidemiological investigations was established in late March. The group used information from online systems and collected full information from all epidemic-related locations to ensure that facts about every case are accurate and every figure is objective and correct, the official said.
"What lie behind epidemic data are the lives and health of the general public, as well as the credibility of the government," said the official, adding that the timely revision of the figures, among other things, shows respect for every single life.