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Chinese virus: does Beijing downplay the contamination figures?

2020-01-18T12:37:00.161Z

Four more cases of people infected with the new type of coronavirus were identified on Saturday, bringing the total number to at least 45 infected patients in Wuhan, central China, where all the Chinese cases were reported ...



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A sign informs passengers at Narita Japanese airport, January 16, 2020. STR / JIJI PRESS / AFP

Four additional cases of people infected with the new type of coronavirus were identified on Saturday, bringing the total number to at least 45 infected patients in Wuhan, central China, where all the Chinese cases have been reported since last month. . But some doubt this version of the authorities.

With our correspondent in Shanghai, Simon Lepl√Ętre

How many people have infected with the new coronavirus in central China? Forty-five, as Chinese health officials say, or 1,723 as a study by scientists at Imperial College London?

inconsistencies

More and more Chinese people doubt official information after the death of a second infected person this week. On social networks, some people ask: how is it that the virus has reached Hong Kong, Japan and Thailand, but not just one other province of China?

This is about the same question that scientists at London Imperial College asked themselves: they analyzed traffic data from Wuhan airport, the city in central China where the virus first appeared. conclude that if three people were infected abroad, probably more than 1,700 people could be infected in China. It is obviously an order of magnitude.

Concern about the New Year

Should we worry about that? According to scientists, the virus close to SARS, which had 650 victims in 2002 in China, is less virulent and spreads less quickly.

There remain two subjects of concern: first, a possible mutation of the virus, as with SARS. Then next week is the Lunar New Year when Chinese people return to their families all over China. What spread the virus on a larger scale.

Source: rfi

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