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A Kaleidoscope of Pandemic in China: False Data, Misinformation, and Fake Masks

March 25, 2020 |   By Minghui correspondent Zhang Ming

(Minghui.org) The coronavirus outbreak started in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Since then the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been censoring information and sparing no efforts to conceal the real number of infections and deaths. As China reported no new local infections in recent days, the following reports received by Minghui.org give us a reality check. 

Actual Infection Cases Likely Many Times the Official Tally

The officially reported coronavirus cases are about 81,000 in China.

According to a press conference that the State Council Information Office held in Wuhan on March 6, 2020, 42,322 medical workers were dispatched to Wuhan and each of them cared for 40 coronavirus patients per day on average.

If each day there were three shifts of medical workers attending to one patient, the confirmed cases in Wuhan would be 564,293 (=40*(42,322/3)) as of March 6. If the medical staff worked overtime and did two shifts to cover each patient each day, then the infections would be 846,440=(40*(42,322/2)).

So we can infer from the official data provided at the press conference that in Wuhan alone, the infection cases were 7-10 times higher than the total reported cases all across China. This estimate does not even include patients under the care of local Wuhan medical workers, patients who were turned away by hospitals or never sought care at hospitals, or medical workers who got infected.

As the reported cases plunged, Wuhan closed the last of its 14 makeshift hospitals (called Fangcang hospitals in Chinese) on March 10. But according to a staff member working there, the shutdown was implemented to suppress the number of reported new cases and boost the number of recovered and released patients. “In fact, over 90% of those released from Fangcang still have the virus,” wrote the staff member.

Unreported Cases in Heilongjiang Province

On March 12, 2020, Heilongjiang reported zero new coronavirus cases. With less than 500 reported cases across the province, only 40 were from Qiqihar City, a region of over 5 million residents.

One staff member from Qiqihar First Hospital recently disclosed that more than 200 staff members in the hospital alone had been infected with coronavirus as of two weeks ago. In particular, nearly everyone in the orthopedics and clinical lab departments was infected. But the information was blocked from the public.

A food retail business owner was unsatisfied with the announcement made by officials that the coronavirus outbreak was over. His friend who worked in the medical field said there were large numbers of patients in all the hospitals of Qiqihar, but they were not reported as coronavirus cases.

Misinformation Through Media and Social Media

Before Wuhan was locked down on January 23, 2020, some residents already heard about the lockdown and fled. But those who did not have such insider information simply believed what officials said in news media. They thought the outbreak was controllable with no human-to-human transmission, only to find themselves trapped in the city after the lockdown.

As many cities in China lifted lockdown and other restrictions, government officials, healthcare workers, and community administrators knew that the low number of infection cases was manufactured and told their family and friends to still stay cautious for coronavirus. Those who did not have access to such information blindly believe that life is finally going back to normal.

Under the CCP censorship, social media only has favorable news that aligns with the state-sanctioned propaganda. Members of the Chinese internet army have been posting misinformation, blaming the U.S. for the pandemic and exaggerating how bad the situation is overseas. 

Ineffective Face Masks

As some companies and factories resume business, the only protection against coronavirus they provide their employees is face masks and temperature checks. There is no measure against possible clusters of infections as workers congregate at work.

One person familiar with the protection gears industry said about 99% of face masks and respirator masks on the market are fake. More specifically, the material is inferior quality and it is not sterile; the production is not under aseptic conditions either.

About 31 million counterfeit face masks were identified in China, reported Business Insider on February 26, 2020. “Top-selling face mask companies have warned consumers to be leery of these kinds of counterfeits and not to buy from illegitimate sellers,” wrote the report.

Related Article in Chinese:中国疫情目前到底有多严重