Coronavirus cases info released timely and accurately: health commission

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/1/22 12:04:00

Photo: Xinhua

Chinese national health authority on Wednesday dismissed the inflated figures of the Wuhan coronavirus claimed by UK experts, stressing that the actual situation is different from theoretical speculations and no super spreader has been discovered yet.

During a press conference Wednesday morning, officials from the National Health Commission released the latest number of confirmed cases and highlighted the measures to combat the epidemic, including prioritizing the need to protect medical workers. 

So far, 440 people have been confirmed infected with the new coronavirus that was first found in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province.

In response to media reports that claimed the number of people already infected by the virus is far greater than official figures, Gao Fu, head of the country's disease control and prevention center, said he read the scientists' calculation and the number [proposed by the scientists] is the largest in the interval he worked out. Besides, he dismissed the 1,700 figure estimated by UK experts as a rumor.

"To learn anything new, especially about a virus like this, study must be based on a concept of 'facts are facts, theories are theories.' We welcome people to come up with models, and there are many models out there. However, is such a model consistent with the fact? Based on what we have known so far, it is not the model that the scientist calculated," Gao said. 

In recent days, there is a surge in confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus and there's a buzz on the social media suspecting if the government failed to release adequate information or even attempted to conceal the epidemic situation. 

Xu Shuqiang, director of the emergency office under the national health commission, said China attaches great importance to disseminating every update and information on the outbreak.

After the outbreak, the national health commission instructed the health commission of Wuhan to release information on the epidemic situation, including prevention and control mechanism, on December 31, 2019 and January 3, 5 and 9. 

As the situation emerged, the information was updated on a daily basis from January 11. On January 9, the committee released the results of pathogen test and that ascertained it was a new coronavirus, Xu said. 

In recent days, cases have been reported in areas outside Wuhan. In order to enable the public to grasp the information of the epidemic in a timely, accurate, and comprehensive manner, since January 20, the national health commission has published the data on a daily basis of confirmed and suspected cases in various provinces on the official website of the commission. 

"We will continue to release information daily, including during the Spring Festival, until the release is no longer needed," Xu said. 

Gao stressed no super spreader for the virus has been discovered yet. WHO defines super spreader as a patient who transmits the virus to more than 10 people.

The recent surge also attributed to the new detective technology as it is a progress to know the virus, officials said.

Soon after the outbreak, with the efforts of relevant professional bodies, the infection causing agent was promptly determined as a new coronavirus, its genome sequence was soon understood, resulting in the earliest isolation of the virus. This indicates the scientific advancement of the People's Republic of China in the last 70 years since its founding, especially in the field of disease prevention and control specialization.

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