THE UNITED States is reportedly monitoring China’s new coronavirus cases to try and stop a second deadly wave this winter.
The Trump administration is keeping an eye on China's numbers and pulling together data on the number of newly infected individuals, two US officials told the Daily Beast.
According to the Daily Beast, the officials are worried that China's new numbers could again be manipulated - misleading countries across the world in how to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
The officials are reportedly worried Beijing will lie about its infected numbers.
In a State Department cable, reviewed by The Daily Beast, China’s National Health Commission seems to be connecting the second wave with asymptomatic individuals testing positive.
China reported that 1,075 people without symptoms were "under medical observation" as of last week, with approximately 135 of them confirmed to have COVID-19.
These cases were first reported by the Chinese government on April 1.
As reported by the Daily Beast, the cable reads: “These asymptomatic infections include individuals who do not show any signs of illness but who have a positive laboratory test result for the virus that causes COVID-19.
“Asymptomatic infections represented about one-third of current cases [in mainland China] as of March 31.”
It also revealed China newly implemented a plan to ensure all exported medical equipment functions correctly.
The cable reportedly says: “The policy regulated exports of medical supplies including detection reagents, medical masks protective clothing, ventilators, and thermometers by requiring exporters to provide documentation that shipments meet China’s medical device product registration requirements."
The State Department, Centers for Disease Control and the intel community is working together to investigate how Beijing is dealing with new cases, according to the report.
As of last Wednesday, China — the epicenter of the global pandemic — had claimed to have under 83,000 cases and around 3,300 deaths.
That’s significantly less than the U.S., which has now reported more than 350,000, or Italy with 130,000, or Spain with 140,000.
In recent weeks, Wuhan reported no new cases almost every day, a drop from the thousands it reported every day until mid-February, and the hundreds into early March.
Last week, a report found China had intentionally made up the number of coronavirus cases and deaths the country suffered.
The country faked the numbers on purpose, the American intelligence community concluded in a classified report given to the White House last week, Bloomberg News reported, citing three U.S. officials.
“China’s public reporting on cases and deaths is intentionally incomplete,” the outlet reported.
“Two of the officials said the report concludes that China’s numbers are fake.”
After the outbreak, China locked down the city of Wuhan, in the Hubei province, as domestic cases supposedly appeared to lessen.
China stopped people from leaving or entering Wuhan beginning on January 23 in a surprise middle-of-the-night announcement and expanded that to most of the province in the days following.
But skepticism around China’s numbers has swirled throughout the global crisis — and long lines of people waiting to collect the ashes of loved ones at funeral homes in late March revived the debate.
According to the Daily Beast, the State Department highlighted Lu Shayne's statements in a cable last week.
It reportedly read: “Following international media reports that the COVID-19 death toll in Wuhan had been dramatically understated (as evidenced by the social media posts, now censored, showing a large number of urns and long lines of residents at government-operated crematoriums)… Shanye told French media that official statistics in Wuhan were accurate.
“When asked why the PRC government censored videos and pictures of the long queues of persons waiting to pick up urns, Lu said: ‘If they were censored, where did you get those pictures and videos?’”
Shayne, the Chinese ambassador to France, was referring to the recently-deleted images that circulated the internet showing urns in Wuhan funeral homes.
Those living in hard-hit city believe around 42,000 people have now been killed by the airborne bug compared to the 3,000 to 4,000 claimed by the state.
Locals point to the fact around 500 urns are being delivered to grieving families each day from seven funeral homes based in the massive city, in Hubei Province.
Reports said the ashes of 3,500 people were being distributed every day in the run up to the Qing Ming festival on April 5 when families tend the graves of the dead.
This would mean 42,000 urns could be distributed in a 12-day period - as the deliveries had been ongoing for five days, the Mail Online reported.
And those living in Wuhan say they know more people are dying than what is being reported, sparking fears of another state cover up.
Meanwhile, the US surgeon general says parts of the country should be able to re-open by the end of April.
But that would only be possible if Americans continue to practice social distancing to prevent the deadly virus from spreading.
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Jerome Adams said on ABC's Good Morning America he sees "a light at the end of this tunnel, and we feel confident that if we do the right thing until the end of this month, we can start opening in certain places."
As of Tuesday morning, the US had reported more than 368,000 cases of the coronavirus with nearly 11,000 deaths.
Approximately 20,000 people in the country have recovered from the virus.
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