It turns out they weren’t, and now documents have leaked proving as much.
The Epoch Times reported Wednesday that the outbreak of the virus in China’s Shandong province is far worse than previously stated by the government, according to several official documents the news organization has managed to obtain.
The outlet reported:
Each day from Feb. 9 to Feb. 23, Shandong authorities underreported the number of infections, according to internal data compiled by the Shandong Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). The CDC kept a tally of the number of people who tested positive for the virus during nucleic acid testing—using a diagnostic kit to test patient samples and detect whether they contain the virus’s genetic sequence.
The CDC’s day-to-day infection figures ranged anywhere from 1.36 times to 52 times more than the data that was officially published by the Shandong health commission and China’s National Health Commission, the documents show.
As of Feb. 25, the provincial government said that a total of 755 infections had been identified, but in fact, according to the internal leaked document, 1,992 had actually tested positive for the virus via nucleic acid testing as of Feb. 23.
On Feb. 22, the provincial government said that four additional people had been positively diagnosed with the virus, but in fact, the internal document said that health officials had found that 61 people had actually tested positive for the day.
And in the days since Feb. 23, official figures show that the infection numbers are actually leveling off, though there is no reason to believe them, obviously. For instance, the National Health Commission reported Feb. 25 there were just nine new cases of virus diagnosed outside of Wuhan City, the outbreak’s epicenter.
“In fact,” The Epoch Times reported, “Shandong alone had new infections in the double-digits daily. On Feb. 20, new infections spiked, with 274 people testing positive.”
While many geopolitical experts familiar with the historic opaqueness of the Communist government in China long suspected Beijing was not accurately reporting rates of infection, the documents provide the first substantial evidence of routine underreporting.
Previously, The Epoch Times had interviewed workers at funeral homes in Wuhan who said they were having to work around the clock just to keep up with the number of bodies they had to process.
As Natural News reported, citing Chinese and English-speaking media earlier this month, workers were flocking to Wuhan City in response to calls for more help from funeral home directors, some of whom were paying the Chinese currency equivalent of $143 an hour.
And it was clear that, with the job announcements, funeral home directors believe that ‘business’ isn’t going to slow down anytime soon — a point emphasized by some local medical workers who have also been revealing the true severity of the pandemic.
“We have collected hundreds of thousands of samples for diagnosis,” Wang Hui, chief nurse at the Wuhan Tongji Hospital, one of more than 40 in the city that have been designated virus treatment centers, said during a recent media interview.
Health experts have long doubted that China was officially reporting virus infections based on their own statistical modeling. Recently, a group of U.S. researchers published an as-yet non-peer reviewed paper suggesting that total infections and deaths from the coronavirus in China could be higher by a factor of 5 to 10.
U.S.-based China experts have said that the government is underreporting cases because Communist leaders want to give citizens the impression they’ve got a handle on the pandemic.
“It [Beijing] is trying to create an image that most of the country is safe enough to resume production,” Tang Jingyuan told The Epoch Times.