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China defends coronavirus death toll

As we reported earlier, China has denied there was a cover-up on the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus, hours after it added 1,290 fatalities to its toll.

“There has never been any concealment, and we’ll never allow any concealment,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.

But China’s official data has frequently been called into question. Earlier this week, US President Donald Trump said the numbers “seem to be a little bit on the light side”.

And on Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron said in an interview “there are clearly things that have happened that we don’t know about”.

Earlier, the city of Wuhan – where the pandemic first started – raised its death toll by 50%, attributing it to updated reporting and more deaths from outside hospitals being counted.

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