China's Asymptomatic Coronavirus Case Numbers Don't Tell the Whole Story

China's Asymptomatic Coronavirus Case Numbers Don't Tell the Whole Story”

China on Thursday reported 35 new cases of symptomatic coronavirus infection for the mainland, all in people arriving at its border after contracting the virus.

A United States intelligence report submitted last week to the White House claims that Chinese officials concealed the extent of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, under-reporting both deaths and case figures, according to a report published Wednesday by Bloomberg.

A worker in a protective outfit checks the body temperature of a woman at the entrance of a bank in Wuhan, China.

The coronavirus outbreak began in China in late 2019 but Beijing has reported fewer cases and deaths than in the USA, which now has the world's largest outbreak, with 215,000 confirmed cases and more than 5,000 deaths.

They said 1,367 asymptomatic people are under observation, with 130 of them confirmed on Tuesday.

According to three officials with knowledge, a classified report received by the White House last week concluded that China's public reporting has been intentionally incomplete and their numbers fake.

The Chinese Communist Party disputed the American intelligence community's conclusion that Beijing hid the extent of the coronavirus outbreak, saying its response was "open and transparent" and accusing the USA of fumbling its handling of the pandemic, according to a report.

News about this report with U.S. intelligence conclusions was reported by Bloomberg, which noted that the Chinese government has only just now started to add asymptomatic cases to its total number of coronavirus cases after leaving them out of the total for weeks.

China on Wednesday began publishing asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 alongside active cases of the deadly virus.

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China has revised the way it counts cases.

The controversy around Beijing's transparency has strained ties, adding to tensions triggered by a conspiracy theory in China that the U.S. military was to blame for the virus.

The US, where the outbreak is the worst, has confirmed more than 200,000 infections and 4,542 deaths.

"We'd like to provide support and help to them as our capacity allows", Hua said.

Deborah Birx, the U.S. State Department immunologist advising the White House on its response to the outbreak, said Tuesday that China's public reporting influenced assumptions elsewhere in the world about the nature of the virus. "Shutting down movie theaters and reports of massively increased cremations just don't square with the nothing-to-see-here numbers they're pushing".

While the domestic coronavirus epidemic has abated due to aggressive containment measures, public appeals for releasing more information on asymptomatic people and tightening control over them have been running high, China Daily reported.

Republican lawmakers this week called for an investigation into a possible coverup by China, as well as the disappearance of three citizen journalists, Fang Bin, Chen Qiushi and Li Zehua, who went missing after reporting from Wuhan.

A Newsweek report earlier this week said that deaths in China could in fact be in the tens of thousands as opposed to around 3,000 deaths reported so far. "Do your best to share that information", he said.

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