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Roy Green: How reliable are China’s COVID-19 numbers?

AP Photo/Andy Wong

According to the Worldometers website, coronavirus cases worldwide stood at 32.5 million on Friday morning. Deaths from COVID-19 were about 989,000 and there were about 7.5 million active cases, while about 24 million people were listed as recovered.

The website also lists individual nations, detailing their COVID-19 case counts including total cases, new cases, total deaths, new deaths, total recoveries and active cases.

This is done in descending order, with the nation recording the largest number of coronavirus cases being the United States with a population of 331.5 million and a Worldometer total COVID-19 case count of about 7.2 million, including deaths at about 208,000.

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China, meanwhile, with a population of 1.44 billion and where the coronavirus pandemic began, is only number 43 on the list of nations with just over 85,000 total cases and about 4,600 recorded deaths.

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Canada, with our national population of 37.8 million — a fraction of China’s — nevertheless shows at number 26 on the nations’ list with about 150,000 cases and 9,250 deaths.

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Carry this a few steps further and you’ll find that combining the populations of the five nations immediately leading China on the COVID-19 nations list — Kuwait, Oman, Sweden, UAE and Guatemala — adds up to approximately 47.5 million.

Yet Kuwait, with its tiny national population of 4.3 million, records its total COVID-19 cases at just over 102,000, which is some 17,000 higher than China with its 1.44 billion people.

READ MORE: Health minister continues defence of China’s handling of coronavirus case data

I have been tracking and tweeting about these numeric disparities for some weeks now and suggesting someone in an official capacity might question Beijing’s reporting.

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When asked about China’s data earlier this year, Minister of Health Patty Hajdu said asking that question was feeding into “conspiracy theories.”

Click to play video 'Coronavirus outbreak: Hajdu stands by statement likening questioning Chinese COVID-19 data to pushing “conspiracy theories”' Coronavirus outbreak: Hajdu stands by statement likening questioning Chinese COVID-19 data to pushing “conspiracy theories”
Coronavirus outbreak: Hajdu stands by statement likening questioning Chinese COVID-19 data to pushing “conspiracy theories”

Considering Hajdu’s reaction when China’s actions during the early months of the pandemic were questioned, it should be stated this commentary is not conspiratorial in nature.

Roy Green is the host of the Roy Green Show on the Global News Radio network.

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