Authorities in China are cracking down on information relating to the coronavirus, as a fresh wave of COVID-19 cases hits the southern province of Guangdong.
China reported 21 new coronavirus disease infections on June 9, compared with 16 patients on the previous day, the health ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
Six of the newly confirmed cases were local transmissions in Guangdong. The provincial capital Guangzhou has reported 115 local infections in the recent outbreak that started May 21, state media reported.
Authorities in Guangzhou started mass testing local residents, with nearly 28 million nucleic acid samples taken since the operation started on May 26, health officials told reporters on June 8.
But there is considerable public skepticism over whether the government is under-reporting the outbreak.
A resident of the central city of Wuhan surnamed Guo said he found the numbers in Guangdong suspicious.
“It is said that there are 170,000 medical staff in Guangzhou, which should be enough to treat these patients,” Guo said. “Why then are 6,500 medical staff being transferred into Guangzhou from other places to support [local hospitals]?”
He said it was unlikely that anyone within the healthcare system would speak out about the true situation on the ground, however.
“They will get detained even if they just say a few words,” Wu said. “They won’t let ordinary people say anything.”