Is China underreporting? Officials claim Wuhan has only 69 coronavirus cases

China claims there are only two critically ill coronavirus patients and 69 active cases in Wuhan, the former epicentre of the global pandemic.

China's recent coronavirus numbers emerging from Wuhan have reignited the theory that public health officials are under-reporting the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths in the city.

Wuhan has only two critically ill COVID-19 patients left

China recently announced that there are only two critically ill coronavirus patients left in Wuhan and only 69 active cases in the former epicentre of the global pandemic that has infected more than 2.7 million people and killed over 190,000 people.

Mi Feng, a spokesperson from the Chinese Centre of Disease Prevention and Control, said in a press conference on Thursday that Wuhan now only has two coronavirus patients who are in critical condition, according to the Daily Mail.

Wuhan Coronavirus
Twitter / Ed Leon Klinger

He also noted that the number of active confirmed patients in China had dropped below the 1,000-mark for the very first time and more than half of the patients who contracted the bug from abroad have also recovered from the disease.

According to China's official figures, more than 82,000 people in the mainland were infected with COVID-19 and as many as 4,632 had died, factoring in the abrupt increase of 1,290 reported deaths from Wuhan last week. Officials claim a total of 77,207 coronavirus patients had recovered from the disease and discharged from hospitals in the country.

China's coronavirus numbers don't add up

China, which has a population of 1.4 billion people and is considered to be the epicentre of the global pandemic, has only reported 4,632 deaths, an implausible number when you compare it with the United States. The U.S., which has a population of 328 million, there have been more than 46,500 deaths.

According to data obtained from the Johns Hopkins University, US deaths per 100,000 stand at 14.24 whereas in China the number was significantly lower at 0.33. The idea that Beijing is still claiming it has so few deaths has raised serious doubts over the numbers China reports to the world.

China could have four times more coronavirus cases

As previously reported, a Hong Kong university study recently revealed that the official toll of COVID-19 cases in China could have more than four times the coronavirus cases it has reported. More than 232,000 people may have been infected in the first wave of Covid-19 in mainland China, the study, published in the medical journal, Lancet, on Tuesday, points out.

China reported more than 55,000 cases as of 20 February but, according to research, the actual figure would have been far greater if the definition of a Covid-19 case that was later used had been applied from the outset.

Chief nurse Ma Jing holds a patient's hand to comfort her in the ICU (intensive care unit) of Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Jan. 24, 2020. By Thursday midnight, Hubei Province in central China reported 549 cumulative confirmed cases of the new coronavirus pneumonia, with 495 in Wuhan, the provincial capital. (Xinhua/Xiong Qi/IANS) Xinhua/IANS

"We estimated that there were at least 232,000 infections in the first epidemic wave of COVID-19 in mainland China," the researchers said. "The true number of infections could still be higher than that currently estimated considering the possibility of under-detection of some infections, particularly those that were mild and asymptomatic, even under the broadest case definitions."

Related topics : Coronavirus