Celebrity deaths in China raise questions about actual COVID toll

A spate of celebrity deaths in China has left fans wondering if the Communist Party is covering up the COVID death toll.

A 40-year-old opera singer, a famous screenwriter and the man who designed the Olympic mascot have all died in recent weeks, with state-controlled media attributing some of the deaths to “severe colds”.

Chu Lanlan, a 40-year-old opera singer.

Chu Lanlan, a 40-year-old opera singer.

Obituaries make no mention of COVID even as China is experiencing a surge in infections, which has caused bodies to pile up in morgues and crematoria.

A highly rated online comment posted under an obituary read, “Did he die of the ‘bad flu’ too?”

“Even if you search the whole internet, you can’t find any reference to his cause of death,” said another under a story about Ni Zhen’s death.


Ni, 84, was an acclaimed screenwriter, best known for the 1991 film Pull up the red lanternwhich critics consider one of the best Chinese films.

Chu Lanlan, a 40-year-old opera singer, also died. Her family did not give any details about the cause. However, Sima Nan, a well-known social commentator, stated in a social media tribute that she died of COVID.

Wu Guanying, China’s top professor at Tsinghua University, died in late December at the age of 67. Media reported that the cause was an “infection with a bad cold”.

https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/severe-colds-celebrity-deaths-in-china-raise-questions-about-real-covid-toll-20230106-p5caq5.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_world Celebrity deaths in China raise questions about actual COVID toll

Callan Tansill

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