- China’s official coronavirus figures have levelled off in recent weeks suggesting that containment measures are working.
- But the numbers are about to spike because the country will start including asymptomatic carriers from Wednesday.
- Conservative estimates point to at least 40,000 ‘silent carriers’ in China that aren’t included in the official toll.
China appears to have flattened the curve and contained the worst of the coronavirus. But the country’s hopeful numbers are about to spike again.
From Wednesday, China will start including asymptomatic carriers in the official numbers. The country’s current toll of 82,240 doesn’t include so-called ‘silent carriers’. These are confirmed cases who show no symptoms, typically identified by tracking close contacts of more severe patients.
The central government has asked officials to be more aggressive with tracing and recording asymptomatic cases in a bid to ease public concerns.
At least 43,000 asymptomatic coronavirus cases in China
While China’s case count stands at 82,240, the real number is at least 120,000 according to classified documents. The papers, obtained by the South China Morning Post revealed an additional 43,000 asymptomatic coronavirus cases at the end of February.
The coronavirus has an incubation period of up to three weeks, during which carriers show no symptoms. Research confirms that human-to-human transmission is possible during this incubation period.
As many as 60% of coronavirus cases in Wuhan – the epicentre of the outbreak – showed only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. These cases were not previously included in the data.
Chinese citizens nervous about ‘silent carriers’
The authorities have begun to lower restrictions in some parts of China, allowing travel and free movement. But many in the country are…