Are the numbers from Wuhan too good to be true? Or has the medical community missed that elephant sitting in the corner? This article explores the question.
Since the lockdown occurred later than it should have, travellers attending the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations transmitted the infection wherever they went. Most countries have focussed on identifying infections brought by travellers from such high-risk countries but the majority with COVID-19 infections now are showing increasing rates of local transmission. The signal from the Chinese puzzle could be that widespread infection is not inevitable and with stringent public health measures infection rate could be brought down to zero. That scenario does not make epidemiological sense. We have to conclude that China does not know, or is not revealing, the magnitude of infection in all of China. . . .
Or does this puzzle [i.e., the extremely low rate of sickness in proportion to the general population] indicate that although 70% of Chinese were actually infected with SARS-COV-2 by the third week of March, only about 90,000 of the 980 million infected (0.0092%) developed COVID-19? This could also provide reason for optimism, but is highly speculative without necessary information. Why are the data missing? Has the world at large and WHO particularly missed a massive elephant in China? For infection rate to decline, the proportion of immune, hence non-susceptible people among the whole population should be fairly high.