As many as 500,000 residents of Wuhan may have been infected with the coronavirus, about 10 times more than the number of confirmed cases initially recorded, according to a study released by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, The Hill reported.
The study in the Chinese city where the pandemic apparently originated surveyed more than 34,000 people in April and found that 4.4 percent of those tested were carrying the antibodies that fight off the virus causing COVID-19.
This means those carrying the antibodies had the virus at some point and, when calculated proportionately for the 11 million residents of Wuhan, it totals nearly 500,000 people that could have been infected. In April, the Chinese health authorities had reported only 50,000 confirmed cases in the city.
Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations told CNN that the underreporting in Wuhan during the height of the outbreak there could be due to the chaos at the time, as well as the failure to count asymptomatic cases.
Huang pointed out that underreporting was also a problem in many other parts of the world, as knowledge of the virus was limited and hospitals were overwhelmed with a sudden surge in patients.
However, there has also ben fierce criticism directed at the Chinese government over a suspected lack of transparency on the seriousness of the virus.
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