Actual coronavirus cases in China up to 4 times higher than official numbers

Hong Kong study finds 232,000 may have been infected in 1st wave of coronavirus in China

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/04/24
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

(AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Over a quarter-million people may have actually been infected with the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) in China — four times the official figures, according to a Hong Kong study.

As the number of coronavirus cases continues to skyrocket across the globe, China's numbers, which seem to be stuck in a state of suspended animation, have increasingly been questioned by experts and laymen alike. A study, carried out by researchers at the University of Hong Kong University’s (HKU) school of public health and published in the Lancet on Tuesday (April 21), found that if China's fifth counting scheme, which used computerized tomography (CT) scans, had been used throughout the first wave of cases, then the number of confirmed cases should actually be around 232,000.

Since the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak began in Wuhan in November of 2019, China's National Health Commission (NHC) has used seven different schemes to tabulate confirmed infections between Jan. 15 and March 3. Initially, the definitions for what was considered to be a confirmed patient had to meet six extremely narrow criteria, such as having links to Wuhan or a wet market and known clusters, fever, respiratory symptoms, failure of antibiotic treatment, and whole genome sequencing of a patient's respiratory sample.

Over time, in successive versions, geographical restrictions were lifted and PCR tests could be used instead of whole genome sequencing, among other changes. This broadened definition led to an increase in confirmed cases.   [FULL  STORY]