Notification on Revising the Numbers of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases and Fatalities in Wuhan
The Wuhan municipal headquarters for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic prevention and control on April 17, 2020 issued a notification on revising the numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases and fatalities in the city. The following is the full text of the notification.
In accordance with the fourth paragraph, Article 38 of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, which stipulates that “information on epidemic situation of infectious diseases shall be released in a timely and accurate manner”; the third paragraph, Article 25 of the Regulations on Preparedness for and Response to Emergent Public Health Hazards, which stipulates that “information shall be released in a timely, accurate and comprehensive way”; Article 19 of the Regulations for the Implementation of the Statistics Law of the People’s Republic of China, which stipulates that “if statistical data are incomplete or have obvious mistakes, the target under statistical investigation shall provide supplementation or correction according to law”; Article 14 and Article 15 of the Rules for the Population Death Information Registration (for trial implementation), which stipulate that “medical institutions shall establish data revision systems,” “medical institutions shall establish data comparison, verification and supplementation systems,” and other regulations; following the principle of being responsible for history, the people and the deceased and to ensure that the information on the city’s COVID-19 epidemic is open, transparent and the data are accurate, the Wuhan municipal headquarters for COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control established a group for epidemic-related big data and epidemiological investigations. Municipal authorities for health, disease control, public security, civil affairs, judicial affairs and statistics have pooled their efforts to compare the COVID-19 case information in the Wuhan municipal COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control big data system, the municipal funeral service system, the municipal hospital authority’s COVID-19 information system, and the municipal novel coronavirus nucleic acid test system to remove double-counted cases and fill in missed cases. Aiming to leave no COVID-19 case undocumented, the authorities have worked to collect full information from all epidemic-related locations, including fever clinics, hospitals, makeshift hospitals, quarantine sites, communities with COVID-19 cases, and special sites administrated by public security, judicial and civil affairs authorities such as prisons, detention centers and elderly care centers, collect full personal information on all COVID-19 cases, and screen and verify every case with health institutions, communities and neighborhoods, primary-level police stations, employers and families of COVID-19 patients. The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wuhan as of the end of April 16 was revised up by 325 to 50,333, and the number of fatalities up by 1,290 to 3,869.
The data discrepancies are due to the following reasons: First, a surging number of patients at the early stage of the epidemic overwhelmed medical resources and the admission capacity of medical institutions. Some patients died at home without having been treated in hospitals. Second, during the height of their treating efforts, hospitals were operating beyond their capacities and medical staff were preoccupied with saving and treating patients, resulting in belated, missed and mistaken reporting. Third, due to a rapid increase of designated hospitals for treating COVID-19 patients, including those administered by ministries, Hubei Province, Wuhan city and its districts, those affiliated to companies, as well as private hospitals and makeshift hospitals, a few medical institutions were not linked to the epidemic information network and failed to report their data in time. Fourth, the registered information of some of the deceased patients was incomplete, and there were repetitions and mistakes in the reporting.
Life and people are what matter most. Every life lost in the epidemic is not only a loss to their family but also a grief for the city. Our sincere condolences go to the families of those who deceased in the COVID-19 epidemic, and we express deep sorrow to the compatriots and medical workers who lost their lives in the epidemic.
The Wuhan Municipal Headquarters for COVID-19 Epidemic Prevention and Control
April 17, 2020