Saturday, May 16, 2020

Leaked data from Chinese university shows country may have 640,000 cases of covid-19 instead of official figure of 84,000

China may have logged hundreds of thousands more cases of coronavirus than it is publicly admitting to, new data leaked from a university suggests.

Officially, the country has reported just 84,029 cases of the virus but there has been widespread skepticism over this figure amid a lack of transparency from Beijing.

But now, a database leaked from the National University of Defence Technology in the city of Changsha suggests the country could have 640,000 cases.

The information comes from a database leaked to Foreign Policy and 100 Reporters, which carried out a brief analysis of the information it contains.

They say the dataset contains 640,000 individual entries taken from at least 230 cities spread across the country.

Each entry contains latitude, longitude, and 'confirmed' number of cases at the location on a specific date, which range from early February to late April.

The locations include hospitals but also apartment compounds, hotels, supermarkets, railway stations, restaurants, schools and even a branch of KFC.

Assuming that each entry contains at least one case, that would mean at least 640,000 cases of the virus which have been recorded.

The number could also be far higher. A single data entry outlined by those with access to the database contains two cases of the virus, reported at a church in the city of Harbin on March 17.

The number could also be lower. Reporters say it is not clear how the data was gathered - although the university website says it used a range of public resources.