WUHAN, April 17 (Xinhua) -- An official of the Wuhan municipal headquarters for COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control on Friday answered relevant questions about the revisions to the numbers of confirmed cases and deaths of COVID-19 in Wuhan.
The following is the full text of Questions and Answers on the Revisions to the Numbers of Confirmed Cases and Fatalities of COVID-19 in Wuhan.
On April 17, 2020, the Wuhan municipal headquarters for COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control released a notification on the revisions to the numbers of confirmed cases and deaths of COVID-19. An official of the headquarters answered relevant questions in an exclusive media interview.
Question 1: Why were revisions made to the numbers of confirmed cases and deaths of COVID-19?
Answer: The novel coronavirus epidemic is a major public health emergency which is the fastest spreading, most widely affecting, and most difficult to control since the founding of the New China. As the main battleground for securing a decisive victory in the national epidemic prevention and control, Wuhan has taken the most comprehensive, stringent and thorough prevention and control measures under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, as well as the command of the CPC Hubei provincial committee and the provincial government. Currently, the epidemic transmission in Wuhan has been basically contained and the restrictions on outbound travel channels have been lifted, creating favorable conditions for carrying out the checking and rectification work of the epidemic data in a comprehensive and detailed manner. Epidemic information, such as the confirmed cases and deaths, should be reported in time and released in an open, transparent and truthful manner. In the early period of the outbreak, due to the insufficiency in admission and treatment capability, a few medical institutions failed to connect with the disease prevention and control system in time, while hospitals were overloaded and medics were overwhelmed with patients. As a result, belated, missed and mistaken reporting occurred. 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,it is a must to rectify the numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths in the city.
Question 2: How was the revision work on the numbers of confirmed cases and deaths of COVID-19 in Wuhan conducted?
Answer: The Wuhan municipal headquarters for epidemic prevention and control has attached great importance to the work of revising the numbers of confirmed cases and deaths of COVID-19 in Wuhan. Following the principle of being responsible for history, for the people and for the deceased, the headquarters took the initiative to make the revision truthfully. In late March of 2020, 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, to ensure that facts about every case are accurate and every figure is objective and correct.
Question 3: What changes have been made to the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wuhan after the revision?
Answer: Previously, Wuhan reported a total of 50,008 confirmed cases of COVID-19 by the end of April 16. A total of 217 repeatedly counted cases should be deducted from the previous figure due to the fact that there were patients who saw doctors in different districts or visited more than one hospital. Meanwhile, a total of 542 cases that were previously not tallied due to belated or missed reporting should be added to the figure. The accumulative number of confirmed cases was revised to 50,333.
Question 4: What is the change to the number of deaths of confirmed COVID-19 cases after the revision?
Answer: Previously, Wuhan had reported 2,579 deaths of confirmed COVID-19 cases by the end of April 16. A total of 164 deaths should be removed from the total figure due to repeated reporting and the deaths mistakenly attributed to COVID-19. In the meantime, a total of 1,454 deaths should be added to the number due to the fact that non-hospitalized deaths had not been registered at the disease control information system as well as the fact that some confirmed cases had been reported late or not been reported at all by some medical institutions. The number of deaths of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wuhan was revised to 3,869.
Question 5: What is the significance of revising Wuhan's numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths?
Answer: Life safety and health are people's fundamental needs and common aspiration. What lies behind epidemic data are the lives and health of the general public, as well as the credibility of the government. The timely revision to the numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths is conducive to safeguarding people's rights and interests, and to scientific decision-making on epidemic prevention and control. It is also a response to public concerns and more importantly, a respect for every single life. Enditem