A Hong Kong newspaper says China’s government excluded from its statistics about one-third of people who tested positive for the new coronavirus but showed no symptoms.
The South China Morning Post reported on Monday that classified government data it obtained show that more than 43,000 so-called silent carriers were not counted in the number of confirmed cases by the end of February.
China reported around 79,000 confirmed cases as of the end of last month.
The paper said that when silent carriers are taken into account, the number of infected people on the mainland exceeds 120,000.
Chinese health authorities said on February 14 that people who were infected but showed no symptoms would be quarantined and monitored for two weeks, but not counted as coronavirus patients.
The authorities also said they would not disclose the number of silent carriers in the country.