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Thursday, February 6, 2020

Chinese Super Company Tencent May Have Accidentally Leaked Real Data On Wuhan Virus Deaths

 Wuhan Virus Deaths

As many experts question the veracity of China's statistics for the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, Tencent over the weekend seems to have inadvertently released what is potentially the actual number of infections and deaths, which were astronomically higher than official figures, but are eerily in line with predictions from a respected scientific journal.

As early as Jan. 26, netizens were reporting that Tencent, on its webpage titled "Epidemic Situation Tracker" was briefly showing data on the novel coronavirus (2019nCoV) in China that was much higher than official estimates, before suddenly switching to lower numbers. Taiwanese netizen Hiroki Lo that day reported that Tencent and NetEase were both posting "unmodified statistics," before switching to official numbers in short order.

On late Saturday evening (Feb. 1), the Tencent webpage showed confirmed cases of the Wuhan virus in China as standing at 154,023, 10 times the official figure at the time. It listed the number of suspected cases as 79,808, four times the official figure.

The number of cured cases was only 269, well below the official number that day of 300. Most ominously, the death toll listed was 24,589, vastly higher than the 300 officially listed that day.

Moments later, Tencent updated the numbers to reflect the government's "official" numbers that day. Netizens noticed that Tencent has on at least three occasions posted extremely high numbers, only to quickly lower them to government-approved statistics.

 Wuhan Virus Deaths

Netizens also noticed that each time the screen with the large numbers appears, a comparison with the previous day's data appears above which demonstrates a "reasonable" incremental increase, much like comparisons of official numbers. This has led some netizens to speculate that Tencent has two sets of data, the real data and "processed" data.

Some are speculating that a coding problem could be causing the real "internal" data to accidentally appear. Others believe that someone behind the scenes is trying to leak the real numbers.

However, the "internal" data held by Beijing may not reflect the true extent of the epidemic. According to multiple sources in Wuhan, many coronavirus patients are unable to receive treatment and die outside of hospitals.

A severe shortage of test kits also leads to a lower number of diagnosed cases of infection and death. In addition, there have been many reports of doctors being ordered to list other forms of death instead of coronavirus to keep the death toll artificially low.

Although some are chalking up the images to users tampering with their browsers, the 154,023 infections on Feb. 1 are remarkably close to the estimate predicted on that date by a scientific modeling study carried out by the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and published on the Lancet website. The study estimates the number of cases is much more given the 2.68 spread rate per case, the doubling of total infections every 6.4 days, and known travel patterns in China and worldwide.

The study stated that by Jan. 25, there were probably already 75,815 people infected with the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Wuhan. This number for January far exceeds the number given by the government on Feb. 6 of 28,000.

Given the report estimated over 75,000 cases on Jan. 25, and the Feb. 1 post was seven days later, the number of cases in Wuhan alone according to the model should have reached 150,000, uncannily close to the 154,023 listed for all of China on the Tencent page. With nearly 12 days having passed since the report was released, the model predicts the number of infections in Wuhan would now stand at 300,000.

[ By Taiwan News ]

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