A classified report submitted by the US intelligence community to Washington has concluded that China had intentionally concealed the extent of Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, under-reporting the numbers of those who contracted the infection as well as the number of fatalities due to the novel COVID-19, said a report by Bloomberg. The officials, privy to the details of the secret report said that the study on the number of cases reported by China has concluded that the numbers released by Beijing do not correspond to reality.
According to the figures released by China, the total number of coronavirus cases in the country reported was a paltry 82,000 while the total number of deaths in China due to COVID-19 was 3,300. The US intelligence community has juxtaposed the data provided by China with the data of New York coronavirus outbreak which has so far witnessed 1,89,000 cases and 4,000 deaths already. The Intelligence community claim that the disproportionately low numbers of infection and deaths in China, the country where the virus is believed to have originated, indicate that the Communist Party of China has studiously hidden the true count of infections and fatalities in Mainland China.
While analysts believe that China has been more effective than democratic nations in suppressing the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus, attributing the feat to the unfettered centralisation of power enjoyed by the Communist Party of China. However, they too have a sceptical view of the numbers of infections and casualties put forth by China. The Chinese government’s nebulous methodology to ascertain the number of COVID-19 cases has also added to the scepticism. On Tuesday, it added more than 1,500 asymptomatic cases to its total.
The report was received by the White House last week, one of the officials said. According to the report, heaps of thousands of urns outside funeral homes in Hubei province have seeded doubts about China’s real tally of those who have perished from the virus.
As per the State Department immunologist Deborah Birx, who is advising the White House on its response to the outbreak, China’s numbers have played a pivotal role in shaping assumptions about the nature of the virus across the world.
“When the medical community interpreted the data that emerged from China, everybody inferred that this pandemic is serious but the numbers are less than expected,” Birx said at a news conference on Tuesday while adding, ” Perhaps because we were missing a significant amount of the data. Now that the data is coming out from Spain and Italy, we can reasonably assume that Chinese numbers are suspicious.”
China is not the only country whose public reporting is under suspicion. The numbers coming from Iran, Russia, Indonesia and especially North Korea, where not a single case of the disease has been reported are also under the scanner of the western scrutiny. Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other countries may also be widely downplaying their numbers, the western analysts believe.