fredag 6. januar 2023

China Covid: wave of celebrity deaths sparks doubt over actual toll

A spate of deaths among celebrities and public figures across China has sparked concerns that the actual death toll from Covid-19 may be far higher than authorities are reporting. Many on Chinese social media have been mourning the death of actor Gong Jintang, who died aged 83 on New Year’s Day. He was known for his portrayal of Father Kang in the sitcom Kang’s Family, which first aired in 2000.

Gong, who had been a household name for years in China, had his death reported by local media, but the cause of death was unclear. “I’m so upset. [Gong] represents our memory for two generations,” one person said on Weibo, the Chinese microblogging platform.

Last month, Beijing opera fans were shocked by the sudden passing of Chu Lanlan, a 40-year-old soprano who performed during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. An obituary released by Beijing Opera Arts College said that Chu, who taught at the institution, died of illness. Her family said they were saddened by her death, but did not elaborate on its cause, local media reported.