Downing Street removes China from briefings over erroneous Covid figures

UK PM office has removed China from its comparisons of other countries’ responses to
coronavirus amid suspicions their figures vastly undermine the outbreak, according to UK media Evening Standard.

UK Ministers till recently were showing China’s low rate of infections and deaths on its charts in the daily Number 10 press briefings.

A study by experts at Hong Kong University, published in The Lancet, suggested more than 232,000 people may have tested positive – four times higher than official figures – in the country’s first wave of infections, according to the Evening Standard.

Certain ruling party MPs fear the inaccurate figures could send the UK’s response off track and have set up a China Research Group to “promote debate and fresh thinking” over Britain’s relationship with China, according to Evening Standard.

Tom Tugendhat, its founder and chairman of the Commons foreign affairs select committee, said, “This data is used to judge the effectiveness of our own response, whether good or bad. It’s important we are comparing like with like, otherwise our own responses could be distorted leading to more deaths in the UK…”

A UK PM spokesperson, according to the Eve Standard said: “The data on China has been removed from the daily press conference slide used to compare the number of deaths from coronavirus internationally.

“This is because a significant revision to China’s data on April 17 means we are unable to compare their daily death rates with other countries, as we do not know when deaths occurred.”

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