Coronavirus death toll reaches 563 as China tries to censor bad news
China on Thursday reported 73 more coronavirus deaths, bringing the total to 563, as the government has reportedly begun censoring negative information about the outbreak online and in the news.
The number of confirmed cases in China also jumped by a daily record, up 3,694 to 28,018, according to the director-general of the World Health Organization.
The uptick comes as the Chinese government has started to pressure state-run news media to report positive stories about relief efforts, three people at Chinese news operations told The New York Times.
Internet platforms have also taken down posts that are critical of the government’s handling of the outbreak, which was first detected in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei Province, the report said.
China has defended its efforts to control the virus and urged other countries to “support” their measures, according to foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chenying.
Countries “can assess the epidemic situation in an objective, fair, calm and rational manner, respect authoritative and professional WHO recommendations, understand and support China’s epidemic control efforts,” Chenying said at an online news conference.
“Fear is worse than any virus.”
At least 230 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed outside mainland China, including 12 in the US.
Two deaths away from mainland China were blamed on coronavirus — one in Hong Kong, the other in the Philippines.
With Post wires
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