Wuhan’s Revised COVID-19 Data Shows 50% Increase in Deaths
Authorities in the central Chinese city of Wuhan have issued new coronavirus data indicating more confirmed cases and deaths than had been previously reported.
In a statement Friday, the municipal outbreak control and prevention command center said that as of the previous day, the cumulative number of confirmed cases in the city had been revised to 50,333, up from 50,008. The total number of confirmed deaths, meanwhile, was raised by 1,290 — from 2,579 to 3,869 — an increase of exactly 50%.
The command center said the revision had come after a thorough check conducted by the relevant departments — including the health bureau, diseases control and prevention department, public security bureau, and statistics bureau — “in order to ensure that the city ’s COVID-19 information is open and transparent, and that the data is accurate so as to be in line with the principles of being responsible to history, the people, and the deceased.”
The command center gave four reasons for the revised figure. First, the large number of patients in the early stage of the outbreak overwhelmed the city’s medical resources, resulting in some patients dying in their homes without ever being admitted to a hospital. Second, during the peak of the epidemic in Wuhan, medical staff were so busy that some cases were “late, missed, or incorrect.” Third, while designated medical institutions — including privately operated and makeshift hospitals — were added, some of these facilities were not connected to the reporting system. Finally, information available upon death was sometimes incomplete, affecting the accuracy of some reporting.
The revised statistics were announced after being checked against online records from the city’s big data network, funeral information system, medical administration and management system, and nucleic acid testing system, in addition to the records of clinics, hospitals, isolation points, outbreak-affected communities, prisons, elder care facilities, residential complexes, police stations, businesses, and household units.
In an interview Friday with the state-owned Xinhua News Agency, an unnamed official from the command center said the revised data comes at a time “when the spread of the disease has been basically blocked, and travel restrictions surrounding Wuhan have been lifted, creating favorable conditions for a comprehensive and detailed review and correction of the data.”
In the revised figures, 217 duplicate reports were subtracted from Wuhan’s total number of confirmed cases while 542 missed reports were added, according to the official. As for the revised death toll, 164 duplicate or non-coronavirus-related deaths were deducted from the previous figure while 1,454 missed reports — those who died without being admitted to hospitals, or late or missed reports from some medical institutions — were added.
As of Thursday, the National Health Commission had reported a total of 3,342 deaths and 82,367 confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland, though these numbers will likely change to reflect the new data from Wuhan.
Editor: David Paulk.
(Header image: A discharged patient leaves a temporary hospital in Wuhan, Hubei province, Feb. 11, 2020. People Visual)