The Chinese government plans to change its corona statistics in response to growing criticism of the official number of infected people. As of April 1, the numbers of demonstrably infected people with no disease symptoms will also be released, said a member of the National Health Commission in Beijing.
Recently, the astonishingly low number of verifiably newly infected people in the People’s Republic had caused astonishment. There was growing evidence of discrepancies. According to the Reuters news agency, in the city of Wuhan, where the pandemic started, there were problems with corona tests in some clinics, according to medical staff. Therefore, infected people were not registered and were not included in the statistics.
In another case, a resident of the city of Yueyang wrote on an Internet forum on March 12 that several people in his city were demonstrably infected with the novel corona virus. In the official statistics, however, the number of newly infected was given as zero. Only later did the local government admit that five people were infected.
“Published information is not very credible”
International experts are also wondering why the numbers are so low. “Even if the cases in China were a hundred times higher than the official data, less than one percent of the population would still be infected,” said epidemiologist Raina McIntyre from the University of New South Wales, Australia.
Chinese government critic and writer Zhang Lifan accused the Communist Party of deliberate manipulation. “If a government lies regularly, the information it publishes is not very credible,” the 69-year-old told Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRF a week ago. The government’s primary goal is to get economic production up and running again quickly. “That is why it is now stressed that the epidemic is receding and is underpinned by the right numbers.”
Officially, China’s more than 1.3 billion people have infected around 81,500 people since the epidemic began. However, the authorities do not provide information on how many people are tested every day. In countries with significantly fewer inhabitants – the USA, Italy and Spain – higher numbers of cases are mentioned. The official number of people who died of lung disease is also higher there than in China.