More than 232,000 people might have caught COVID-19 in China’s first wave of the outbreak, according to a study by Hong Kong researchers. That would be four times the official figure that was reported by the Chinese government. China reported more than 55,000 cases as of Feb. 20 but, according to research by academics at Hong Kong University’s school of public health, the true number would have been much higher if the definition of a COVID-19 case that was later used had been applied from the start. China’s national health commission used seven different versions of a case definition for COVID-19 between Jan. 15 and March 3, and the study said: “If the fifth version of the case definition had been applied throughout the outbreak with sufficient testing capacity, we estimated that by 20 February 2020, there would have been 232,000… confirmed cases in China, as opposed to the 55,508 confirmed cases reported.” China has now reported just over 83,000 cases.
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