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Tencent briefly lists 154,023 infections and 24,589 deaths from Wuhan coronavirus
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As many experts question the veracity of China's statistics for the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, Tencent over the weekend seems to have inadvertently released what is potentially the actual number of infections and deaths, which were astronomically higher than official figures.
On late Saturday evening (Feb. 1), Tencent, on its webpage titled "Epidemic Situation Tracker", showed confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (2019nCoV) in China as standing at 154,023, 10 times the official figure at the time. It listed the number of suspected cases as 79,808, four times the official figure.
The number of cured cases was only 269, well below the official number that day of 300. Most ominously, the death toll listed was 24,589, vastly higher than the 300 officially listed that day.
Moments later, Tencent updated the numbers to reflect the government's "official" numbers that day. Netizens noticed that Tencent has on at least three occasions posted extremely high numbers, only to quickly lower them to government-approved statistics.
Netizens also noticed that each time the screen with the large numbers appears, it shows a comparison with the previous day's data which demonstrates a "reasonable" incremental increase, much like comparisons of official numbers. This has led some netizens to speculate that Tencent has two sets of data, the real data and "processed" data.
Some are speculating that a coding problem could be causing the real "internal" data to accidentally appear. Others believe that someone behind the scenes is trying to leak the real numbers.
However, the "internal" data held by Beijing may not reflect the true extent of the epidemic. According to multiple sources in Wuhan, many coronavirus patients are unable to receive treatment and die outside of hospitals.
A severe shortage of test kits also leads to a lower number of diagnosed cases of infection and death. In addition, there have been many reports of doctors being ordered to list other forms of death instead of coronavirus to keep the death toll artificially low.