Coronavirus cases in China were likely 37 times higher than reported by Beijing. (File Photo: AP)
WASHINGTON: Coronavirus cases in China were likely some 37 times higher than reported by Beijing in January 2020, a US-based think tank RAND has said.
China has been accused of hiding information about coronavirus.
Several government as well as non-government agencies (NGOs) worldwide have accused Beijing of opacity regarding the virus and for hiding the exact information.
The US-based organization RAND published a report after analyzing the role of commercial air travel in the COVID-19 pandemic.
It said there is strong evidence to prove China’s reported COVID-19 caseload was undercounted by a factor of nearly 40.
“People have raised serious concerns about the accuracy of coronavirus data from China. We, in this report, present a strong evidence that China’s reported COVID-19 caseload was undercounted by a factor of nearly 40,” the think tank has said.
The think-tank noted: “Based on officially reported cases in China in January 2020, the odds of the novel coronavirus appearing by January 22, 2020, in Japan, Thailand, South Korea, the United States, and Taiwan–as it did–would have been minuscule.”
From December 31, 2019, to January 22, 2020, China had reported a daily average of some 170 cases of coronavirus among its residents. This number of confirmed cases, however, was equivalent to just one per 8.2 million residents in China per day.
If this trend is to be followed, five countries, including Japan, Thailand, South Korea, the United States, and Taiwan, which were at most risk of importing COVID-19 from China should have reported almost nil cases as far fewer than 8.2 million passengers flew from China to the five countries over that 23-day period.
(With inputs from Agencies)