China reports 1300 asymptomatic virus cases after public concern

Elias Hubbard
April 1, 2020

China's control measures during the first 50 days of the COVID-19 epidemic may have delayed the spread of the virus to cities outside of Wuhan by several days and, by interrupting transmission nationwide, prevented more than 700,000 infections across the country, according to an worldwide team of researchers.

The commission says that, as of Tuesday, there are 1,541 asymptomatic cases.

The one reported new case of a local infection on Tuesday was in Guangdong province.

Public concerns about the dangers of infection by asymptomatic carriers has grown in recent days, as Beijing began to relax restrictions on its public transportation and businesses.

There aren't a large number of asymptomatic patients of COVID-19 pneumonia in China now, a renowned respiratory expert said during an interview with China Central Television on Sunday.

However, asymptomatic cases are not being added to the official tally unless they later show clinical symptoms.

"One fascinating aspect of our work is that it shows the power of novel data streams such as cell phone mobility data", says Ottar Bjornstad, a professor of entomology and biology at Penn State.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government is furious with Beijing for spreading disinformation about the coronavirus, including that American soldiers may have introduced it in China, and said there would be a "reckoning" when the pandemic ends, according to a report.

There were mass online calls for the government to reveal the number of asymptomatic cases after authorities revealed over the weekend that an infected woman in Henan province had been in close contact with three asymptomatic cases.

Though authorities in Wuhan have shrugged off complaints it wasn't accurate in its reporting, Chang Jile, a Chinese health official, said the country would start reporting the number of people who aren't showing symptoms of COVID-19 beginning Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Until now, asymptomatic cases have not been released as part of the national tally.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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