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China’s coronavirus statistics loses credibility with 9-fold increase

China’s coronavirus statistics loses credibility with 9-fold increase

Posted February. 14, 2020 07:45,   

Updated February. 14, 2020 07:45


As China has changed the criteria to confirm‎ the Wuhan coronavirus patients, the numbers of infected cases and deaths from the virus in Hubei province soared. As a result, some are raising the suspicion that the new coronavirus has been spreading more rapidly than what has been reported and that the Chinese government has been hiding the true statistics.

The hygiene and health commission of Hubei province announced on Thursday that the number of confirmed patients rose by 14,840 with 242 more deaths in just one day on Wednesday, which is nine times and 2.6 times higher than the Tuesday figures, respectively. The national hygiene and health commission, which had been releasing official figures every morning, had not announced statistics until Thursday afternoon.

“Clinical diagnosis has been added as one of the criteria to confirm‎ infected cases in order to allow timely diagnosis of patients and increase treatment success rates,” explained Hubei province. “So far, cases had been confirmed based on the RNA test, but now patients can be confirmed even with diagnosis by medical professionals and the CT scan, which is why the number of cases went up.” According to Hubei province, the numbers of confirmed patients and deaths by clinical diagnosis account for 90 percent and 56 percent, respectively, of the increased figures on Thursday.

“We decided to include clinically-diagnosed patients as confirmed cases to match the confirmation criteria announced by other provinces,” said the Hubei provincial government, which is an admission to the fact that the province just started to apply the confirmation criteria that have been applied by other provinces.

Wan-Jun Yun zeitung@donga.com · Mee-Jee Lee image@donga.com