A study of coronavirus antibodies in Wuhan, China has found that nearly half a million people in Wuhan may have had coronavirus, The Guardian reports. The number is ten times greater than official government statistics.
The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention conducted the study by testing 34,000 samples of blood serum in Wuhan and the surrounding areas, as well as other Chinese cities.
The study found a 4.43 percent antibody rate in Wuhan, significantly higher than the initial figures suggested for the city of 11 million. The rate of antibodies in the surrounding regions was a mere 0.44 percent.
Given the significantly higher antibody rate in Wuhan than in other cities, the study indicated that the virus was well contained in the city. The city and surrounding areas were put under extensive and draconian lockdowns in January, with Wuhan in particular being shut down for 76 days. 56 million people overall were forced into lockdown by the Chinese government at the time.
"The survey results show that the population of our country is generally at a low level of infection, indicating that the epidemic control, with Wuhan as the main battlefield, has been successful and effectively prevented the large-scale spread of the epidemic," the report reads.
The report is not the first time the Chinese government has questioned their own statistics. The government had already revised their death toll upward by 50 percent in April of this year in Wuhan as a result of the virus, which the Chinese government claimed was the result of delayed reporting.
Another study from Hong Kong had already suggested that up to four times as many people in China were infected with the virus than originally reported due to changing criteria over defining the virus in the early days of the pandemic, although the numbers offered by the Hong Kong academics were still significantly lower than this new study.
Western countries and leaders have often accused China of fudging their coronavirus numbers, with US President Donald Trump in particular criticizing China for underreporting their infections. Trump pointed out that the Chinese government has a long history of misreporting data, and the information coming out of the country cannot be trusted.
Nevertheless, while many Western nations are under lockdown restrictions to deal with the virus, life in China has largely returned to the pre-coronavirus days. Although the government has been reporting a few dozen new infections a day, China has not returned the the intense lockdowns seen in the early days of the pandemic.