Coronavirus: Within A Month Infections Rose from Hundreds to Thousands
A month ago, the coronavirus exploded. Within a few days, the number of infections rose from hundreds to thousands. The counter is now at almost 78,000. “The indications in China are positive.” A state of affairs, in addition to our live blog.
Indeed, not all figures from China are reliable. Those from Hubei province were corrected for the third time yesterday, which does not increase confidence in the data from that area. The fact that there were 220 more cases of infection afterwards than previously reported was due to forgotten cases in prisons, according to the official reading. Getting correct data is an old problem in China.
“The entire history of the People’s Republic is steeped in incorrect figures. Mao was already bothered by the big leap forward because all the local party officials passed on fantastic statistics that were not correct at all and later contributed to a massive famine with a high death toll.
That data problem still exists, because local officials are continuously being assessed on issues such as the economy, social order, and so on. Lower authorities are traditionally not very open about what they base their figures on, and it is difficult for central government to act on that ”, says Chinakenner Stijn Declerck.
The statistics of the Chinese state will reflect the general trend, he thinks. If the central government now says that there is a decrease in the number of infections, you can assume that. It will be considerable blame if it turns out that that’s not right. “
According to the Dutch virologist Marion Koopmans, who advises the World Health Organization (WHO) on how to tackle the unknown virus, changing figures from Hubei and the city of Wuhan are ‘difficult to interpret’, but the bigger story for China is that the number of new infections is indeed declining. “And that is positive news,” said Koopmans.
You have to be careful with numbers, but the indications are positive. In cities where quarantine measures are in place, you see positive effects. The next step is of course, whether it will stay that way if those measures are later relaxed. “