5-6 minutes - Source: Bloomberg
While infections in the rest of the world accelerate, the
On Tuesday, China reported 119 new confirmed cases of the
Eighty-four percent of cases, 97% of critical cases and more than 96% of deaths are within the province, which was placed under mass quarantine by the government on Jan. 23 to slow the virus’ spread to the rest of the country. The ongoing lockdown of the region of 60 million people has led to widespread suffering and scores of preventable deaths as the local medical system collapsed under the strain.
The lockdown also meant that China’s fatalities from the pathogen have been confined almost entirely to the province. As of Tuesday, 4.3% of people who were confirmed to have the virus in Hubei have died, while that rate is 0.9% in China outside Hubei.
Over the past three weeks, China’s number of recovered patients
Still, mistrust lingers over China’s official statistics, which have been repeatedly revised through the course of the outbreak, including an extraordinary addition of nearly 15,000 cases of infection on Feb. 13. It’s also changed the definition of what is a confirmed case of infection multiple times.
What’s Going On With China’s Coronavirus Case and Death Numbers?
One area of confusion has been over how to account for people who don’t have symptoms but test positive for the disease in a phenomenon known as asymptomatic infection.
At a World Health Organization briefing on Tuesday, infectious disease expert Maria Van Kerkhove said that about 1% of cases in China are asymptomatic at first, but 75% of those patients eventually develop symptoms.
This means that provinces not counting asymptomatic cases in their official tally are likely under-reporting their numbers. There’s some evidence of that: Chinese media outlet Caixin reported that Heilongjiang province in northern China had 104 asymptomatic
China does not release the number of asymptomatic infections in its daily nationwide tally, underscoring the uncertainty which remains over whether the outbreak is truly contained at its heart.
— With assistance