The actual number (20,000?) of death will never be known to public. China only counts those that were confirmed with nucleic acid test kits, which has very poor sensitive (~30% only) and multiple tests are usually needed to come to a diagnosis and were in severe short supply until mid Feb. Many victims died before a diagnosis.
People do not have to believe what the NTD says, but from the reaction of the Chinese government to lock down or semi-lock down 80 cities, everyone should know how severe the epidemic can be. And from what happened on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, everyone should know how infectious the virus can be.
Another convincing sign of the seriousness of the epidemic: the Chinese National Congress annual meetings, commonly called the "Two Meetings" that are supposed to be held in the first quarter (usually on March 5) of the year according to Chines Constitution, are postponed indefinitely. Postpone of the "Two Meetings" rarely happened, even not in 2003 during the SARS epidemic.