China’s data on COVID-19 epidemic deaths is extremely unreliable and lacks research value, Forbes said in an analysis article released on Jan. 6.

According to the magazine, Japan, Korea, and Singapore are rich countries and have successfully implemented virus containment programs, but when it comes to COVID-19 mortality data, China’s figures are in the extreme off-normal range.

The article, titled “Beijing deliberately underreports the death rate in China,” revealed that the mortality rate in Japan, Singapore, and South Korea is 10 to 20 times lower than in European or Latin American countries.

However, China claims to have a COVID-19 mortality rate 30-50 times lower than these three countries. In detail, Singapore had 144.9 deaths per million, Japan 145.7, South Korea 107.5, and China only 3.21.

The official death toll in China is 4,636, with 4,512 in Hubei, the province where Wuhan is located, and 124 in other regions of the country.

China’s low death rate is not due to better ecological, economic, or social conditions. Just the opposite, it confronts more dangers than Japan and South Korea.

Eastern China’s developed areas are comparable to Japan, New Korea, and South Korea. Still, more than half of China’s population lives in rural areas, and their income is only about a third of that of wealthy places. The living and medical conditions are substantially worse, and China has many rural areas.

The analysis indicates that China is more similar to neighboring developing nations regarding social conditions and economic level. So, the requirements for combating the pandemic are harsher, and deaths will certainly be higher.

On the other hand, the more land neighbors, the more opportunities for virus infection. In particular, China is a vast land with 14 neighbors and a 13,000-mile border. It is the country with the world’s longest land border, surpassing Russia. While Japan, New Korea, and South Korea only are island countries with few land borders.

Every year, many North Korean refugees travel to China, and there are always more migrants on the Myanmar-China border. Smugglers and people traffickers from Vietnam are active along the border. All of this raises the probability of an outbreak in China.

Besides, most of China’s neighboring countries have severe illnesses from the pandemic to make matters worse. In this context, it is difficult for China to control the virus’s rapid spread. 

The death toll (per million) was 615 in Mongolia, 335 in Vietnam, 356 in Myanmar, 433.9 in Kyrgyzstan, 702.8 in Kazakhstan, 50.2 in Laos, and only 3.21 in China.

According to Forbes, the Chinese government did not provide official data for nearly two years after Wuhan closed. As a result, China’s data lacks reliability and coherence and does not have research value.

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