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Victor Shih

China’s Hubei province shocked the world as the number of confirmed covid-19 patients spiked because it started to use different way to diagnose patients. Political analyst Victor Shih sees it as a proof that the government is using different sets of tools to manipulate the number of patients and deaths, he tells to Reuters.

Reuters:

The sudden jump in new cases raises questions about China’s commitment to transparency, said Victor Shih, a specialist in Chinese politics at the School of Global Policy & Strategy at UC San Diego.

“The adjustment of the data today proved without doubt that they have had two sets of numbers for confirmed infected all along,” he said. “If that were not the case, the government could not have added so many new cases in one day.”

“A very disturbing aspect of today’s new numbers is that the vast majority of new cases accrued to Wuhan, but what if the rest of Hubei Province still did not adjust their reporting methods?”

Hubei had previously only allowed infection to be confirmed by RNA tests, which can take days to process and delay treatment. RNA, or ribonucleic acid, carries genetic information allowing for identification of organisms like viruses.

Using CT scans that reveal lung infection would help patients receive treatment as soon as possible and improve their chances of recovery, the commission said.

More in Reuters.

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