- Leaked official documents reveal that china has severely underreported their Covid-19 cases in the early stages of the pandemic, said CNN.
- According to the available data, Wuhan had “more than double the official public number of confirmed cases” back in February 2020.
- Yanzhong Huang of the Council on Foreign Relations said “It was clear they did make mistakes.”
Back inFebruary 10, 2020, Chinese President Xi Jinping broke his silence since the outbreak began and held a video conference call with medical frontliners working hard to contain the coronavirus problem in Wuhan.In the said conference, he encouraged health workers to keep communications open as the world increasingly worries about the spread of the disease. That day, authorities reported 2,478 new confirmed cases – which meant the total number of cases globally has become more than 40,000.
Now CNN is telling the public that official documents available at the time reveals that China was not truthful about the real picture of the whole situation. According to a report marked “internal document, please keep confidential,” Hubei – where the new virus was initially spotted – had a list that said they had “a total of 5,918 newly detected cases on February 10, more than double the official public number of confirmed cases,” wrote CNN.
The shocking revelation is just one of the many found in the 117-page leaked documents obtained from the Hubei Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Although China has repeatedly been accused of lying by United States and other western countries but officials have often defended that they are fully transparent about the virus and how they deal with i. However, the recently-leaked official files are confirming otherwise.
According to CNN:
“One of the more striking data points concerns the slowness with which local Covid-19 patients were diagnosed. Even as authorities in Hubei presented their handling of the initial outbreak to the public as efficient and transparent, the documents show that local health officials were reliant on flawed testing and reporting mechanisms. A report in the documents from early March says the average time between the onset of symptoms to confirmed diagnosis was 23.3 days, which experts have told CNN would have significantly hampered steps to both monitor and combat the disease.”
Council on Foreign Relations global health senior fellow Yanzhong Huang pointed out:
“It was clear they did make mistakes — and not just mistakes that happen when you’re dealing with a novel virus — also bureaucratic and politically-motivated errors in how they handled it.”
Huang, who has personally reviewed the documents and verified their authenticity, also said about the February 10 reports:
“The numbers they were giving out were conservative, and this reflects how confusing, complex and chaotic the situation was.”
Meanwhile, Vanderbelt University infectious diseases professor William Schaffner also said that officials in China “seemed actually to minimize the impact of the epidemic at any moment in time.”
He further explained:
“To include patients who were suspected of having the infection obviously would have expanded the size of outbreak and would have given, I think, a truer appreciation of the nature of the infection and its size.”
In March, South China Morning Post shared a study by Chinese doctors claiming that about 60% of Covid-19 patients “were not reported to authorities” including those who were “asymptomatic or had very mild symptoms.”
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