Coronavirus death toll, new cases in the US: 5 latest developments

5. China concealed the epidemic initially; still under-reporting numbers

New studies indicate that the Chinese government initially sought to hide the confirmed cases, and that the total number of infections could be vastly greater than what has been reported.

Published in the New England Journal of Medicine Wednesday, a study based on data from the first 425 confirmed cases in Wuhan said “there is evidence that human-to-human transmission had occurred among close contacts since the middle of December 2019,” according to The Epoch Times.

However, the Chinese authorities confirmed human-to-human transmission only on Jan. 20 while the disease was first officially reported on Dec. 31. In fact, the first patient developed symptoms on Dec. 1, the study found.

Another recent study by Imperial College London suggests that “self-sustaining human-to-human transmission” is the “only plausible explanation of the scale of the outbreak in Wuhan.” Each infected individual could infect 2.6 others, on average, and the authorities would need to block transmission of more than 60 percent of the cases to contain the outbreak, it added.

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