Every morning we share the numbers. The number of confirmed Coronavirus infections, recoveries, and deaths as calculated by the Johns Hopkins 2019- CoV Global Case Map. The numbers are startling but what if they are low? Some experts feel certain they can’t possibly be this low.
We already know that there were cases reported as early as November 2019 and into December. The outbreak wasn’t international news until January when it was impossible to keep it quiet. Travelers were developing symptoms in other countries and they’d all been to Wuhan City.
There are infections in at least 28 countries (CDC).
Most of the infections are in Asia. Thousands of confirmed cases. But that number is increasingly questioned.
“…academics used the international figures to reverse-engineer a total for the number of cases among greater Wuhan’s population of around 19 million. They said that, as of January 25, they estimated that the number of cases was 75,815.”
That was a week ago.
As part of their model, the Hong Kong academics predicted that the scale of the virus would double every 6.4 days. By that logic, the number of people in greater Wuhan with the virus as of this Friday (January 31) would be 151,630.
In other words, given the nature of the virus, how it is transmitted, and the density of the population and this is Communist China, the official numbers are probably garbage.
But today’s World Health Organization (WHO) Situation Report echoes the “official numbers.” Numbers that experts outside the traditional global reporting mechanisms find impossibly low. At least inside China. Which has locked down over 80 million people based on some reports, in an effort to stop the spread.
That’s a big number. Big enough to add credence to claims that the actual number of infected Chinese is much higher than has been reported.
For the sake of the people of China let’s hope that whatever the numbers are that the lockdown slows the exponential spread. If 151,000 were already infected by Friday and the virology math is right by Wednesday there will be over 300,000 cases, the majority inside China.