Authorities in China Underreporting CCP Virus Cases: Leaked Documents

By Nicole Hao
Nicole Hao
Nicole Hao
Nicole Hao is a Washington-based reporter focused on China-related topics. Before joining the Epoch Media Group in July 2009, she worked as a global product manager for a railway business in Paris, France.
May 25, 2020Updated: May 26, 2020

The Jilin provincial government in northeastern China is underreporting the number of CCP virus-diagnosed patients, leaked internal documents recently obtained by The Epoch Times reveal.

And on one recent occasion, the National Health Commission diluted the figures further.

Chinese authorities have consistently concealed the true scale of the outbreak, leading to citizens’ distrust of official data.

Barriers separate a residential compound in Jilin
Barriers separate a residential compound in Jilin in China’s northeastern Jilin province on May 25, 2020. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

May 16

Jilin Province is currently experiencing a second wave outbreak of the CCP virus, which authorities said began with a “patient zero,” a cleaning worker at the police bureau of Shulan, a small municipality under the administration of Jilin city. 

The Jilin Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports new virus infections daily to the national CDC. In its report, Jilin CDC lists details for each patient that include basic personal information, profession, activities in the previous 14 days, close contacts, and possible cause of infection.

The Epoch Times obtained copies of five reports produced by the Jilin CDC for five new diagnosed patients on May 16. Among these five patients was an 85-year-old woman named Ms. Li, who died on May 9 with severe symptoms of COVID-19. Her diagnosis wasn’t confirmed until after her death.

However, the Jilin provincial health commission announced on May 17 that three patients were newly diagnosed the previous day. While the commission separately mentioned the case of Ms. Li, her cause of death was noted as cardiovascular illness. Thus, she wasn’t counted by authorities as a COVID-19 death.

Meanwhile, the National Health Commission also announced three new domestic infections from Jilin that were confirmed on May 16, and didn’t mention Li’s case.

Similar underreporting has occurred from other local governments, such as the cities of Harbin and Wuhan, and the Inner Mongolia region, in which internal tallies show lower numbers than publicly announced data.

Volunteers wearing protective clothing in Jilin
Volunteers wearing protective clothing, amid concerns of the CCP virus, at a check point outside a residential area in Jilin in China’s northeastern Jilin province on May 25, 2020. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

May 13

For May 13, The Epoch Times obtained Jilin CDC reports about two newly diagnosed patients, a 41-year-old man surnamed Li and a 53-year-old woman surnamed Ye.

In the file about Li, the provincial CDC clearly listed all his recent activities in striking detail. For example, he had a meal with men surnamed Hao and Liu at a rice noodle restaurant called Mate Dafu at 1:15 p.m. on May 5, and he and his younger brother got haircuts at the Wei Barber Shop at 11 a.m. on May 4.

In the file about Ye, the CDC notes that she sells fresh corn at different open-air markets. Before being diagnosed with COVID-19, Ye had sold corn in more than two markets every day, meaning that she would have had contact with hundreds of shoppers.

On May 14, the Jilin provincial health commission only announced one new diagnosis, which matches Ye’s profile, on the day prior. The National Health Commission announced the same figure as the provincial authority.

The documents reviewed by The Epoch Times make up just a portion of the Jilin CDC’s daily reports. Residents said in recent interviews that they are very worried about the local outbreak, as local authorities haven’t fully informed them about the situation.