Wuhan’s COVID infections may have been 10 times higher

Pedestrians walk with umbrellas past stores in Wuhan on April 30. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

There may have been half a million coronavirus infections in Wuhan, China, the first epicentre of the virus pandemic. That figure is almost 10 times the official figure reported of 50,354 reported by the city of 11 million people.

The new estimations were provided by the Chinese Center for Disease Control which conducted a study of 34,000 people in the city’s general population.

From the sample, researchers said there was an antibody prevalence rate of 4.43 per cent, though it noted the findings are not to be taken for final figures on the number of people were exposed to the virus in an area.

The reason for the vastly differing figures is being chalked up to underreporting by many experts, particularly in the early days of the pandemic where there under testing, little coordination of responses and asymptomatic cases were not included in official cases.