The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a new study that nearly 500,000 people in Wuhan, China — which is believed to be where the coronavirus first emerged — have been affected with the novel coronavirus. That’s almost 10 times higher than the official numbers.
The study looked at 34,000 people from Wuhan, Beijing, Shanghai, and other provinces of Guangdong, Jiangsu, Sichuan and Liaoning to determine COVID-19 infection rates, according to CNN.
The study saw a prevalence rate of antibodies of 4.43% for COVID-19 for those in Wuhan, which has a population of 11 million people. That’s about 487,000 people.
- Wuhan has only reported 50,354 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission.
China’s CDC said the study was done one month after the first wave of the COVID-19 epidemic in that area.
A quick note
China has been criticized across the world for how it handled the outbreak to the COVID-19 pandemic, letting the virus escape its borders, according to Bloomberg. The new data may only bring that criticism back.
- However, “it is common for health authorities to under-report cases during an acute outbreak, given testing capabilities can be limited and hospitals overwhelmed with a sudden surge in patients,” according to Bloomberg. “The coronavirus’s ability to quietly infect people without making some of them sick until later or even throughout the infection period only exacerbates the problem.”