France expresses doubts about China’s transparency as Covid-19 toll jumps

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                La Chine a signalé 1 290 décès supplémentaires dans la ville de Wuhan - une augmentation de 50% des décès dus à l'épicentre de l'épidémie de coronavirus. L'annonce inattendue intervient dans un doute grandissant de la part des dirigeants mondiaux, dont le président français Emmanuel Macron, quant à la transparence de la Chine qui rapporte la crise.
            

Il s'agit d'une augmentation de 50% pour la ville de Wuhan, où le nombre de morts s'élève désormais à 3 869, ce qui porte le nombre national de morts à 4 632.

The city has only recently started to lift its strict foreclosure measures.

Wuhan Epidemic Prevention and Control headquarters cited several reasons for the missed cases, including the fact that the city’s medical staff were initially overwhelmed as infections escalated, leading to “late notifications, omissions or misrepresentations ”.

He also cited the inadequacy of screening and treatment facilities, and said that some patients died at home and that their deaths were therefore not properly reported.

Countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and France have begun to question China’s transparency about the epidemic.

Death toll in the West continues to climb

China is coming under increasing pressure, particularly from the United States, which is trying to find out if the virus actually originates from a Wuhan laboratory or food market.

To date, 17,920 coronavirus-related deaths have been recorded in France since the start of the epidemic, including 753 in the past 24 hours.

This compares to the United States, with almost 33,000 reported deaths, and the United Kingdom, with almost 18,000.

In an interview with the English newspaper Financial Times published Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed doubts about how China has handled the crisis.

Unknown factors

When asked if China’s authoritarian approach had exposed the weaknesses of Western democracies, Macron said there was no comparison between open societies and those where the truth was suppressed.

“Given these differences, the choices made and what China is today, which I respect, let’s not be naive enough to say that it has been handled much better,” he said.

” We do not know. There are clearly things that have happened that we do not know. “

He said giving up freedoms to fight the pandemic would threaten western democracies.

“We cannot accept this. You cannot give up your basic DNA on the grounds that there is a health crisis. “

Diplomatic spitting

There followed a line triggered by an article on the website of the Chinese Embassy, ​​which said that Western countries had left the elderly to die in nursing homes.

The French Foreign Ministry summoned the Chinese ambassador to “express his disapproval”.

China rejected the line as a “misunderstanding”.

Russia spoke out in defense of China on Thursday. President Vladimir Putin, in a telephone conversation with his Chinese counterpart, called the recent charges against Beijing counterproductive.

Meanwhile, China has announced its worst economic performance in decades, with GDP figures for the first quarter of 2020 showing that its economy shrank 6.8%.

            

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