Taipei City Councilor Chung Hsiao-pien accused the CECC of concealing the truth, saying there are more cremations than the official figure.
A city councilor questioned if there may still be unreported deaths in the local epidemic hotspots of Taipei and New Taipei City. The councilor said according to the Central Epidemic Command Center, 52 people in Taipei and 114 in New Taipei died from the epidemic from May 1st to the 16th. During the same period, there were a total of 347 cremations from the two cities, which don't add up to the deaths reported by the CECC.
Chung Hsiao-pien, Taipei City Councilor: “This is hiding the death toll figures. This is not the same as correcting the number of confirmed diagnoses. My second point was just corrected by the Taipei Health Department. Perhaps Taipei cremated bodies from other counties and cities. But the difference shouldn't be two or three times.”
Chen Kuan-ling, Director, Mortuary Services Office, Taipei: “Whatever the cause of death, as long as the person's death certificate states he has COVID-19 or was PCR-positive, we count this as a COVID death.”
The Taipei City Mortuary Services Office pointed out that as long as the information of the deceased is marked with COVID-19, the death will be included in the statistics. However, the cause of death is not necessarily COVID, which may be different from the number of confirmed cases announced by health officials. The Taipei City Hospital doctors warned that with the current severe situation of the epidemic, not all positive confirmed patients can go get a PCR test. Thus, it is not surprising that there are unreported numbers.
Chen Shih-chung, Commander, Central Epidemic Command Center: “I don't think it's necessary to hide these numbers. Our numbers have always been transparent.”
The CECC said that all statistical data are transparent. They will investigate the information provided by the city councilor. The whole country of Taiwan will have the same epidemic situation as people constantly move between cities on a daily basis. The epidemic is expected to spread to central and southern Taiwan. Experts suggest that oral drugs should be replenished. Chen responded that antivirals to serve 3.5 percent of the total population have been purchased so far.