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  • Leaked documents reveal that China significantly underreported the number of coronavirus cases in the early stages of the pandemic.
  • On February 10 — when China reported 2,478 new cases — officials privately recorded 5,918 new cases, more than double the published figure.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A tranche of leaked documents has revealed that China’s government significantly underreported the number of coronavirus cases in the early stages of the pandemic.

On February 10 — when China reported 2,478 new cases — officials privately recorded 5,918 new cases, more than double the published figure, per CNN.

The underreporting was exacerbated by a slow-turnaround in identifying cases.  One of the leaked documents reveals that in early March the average time between an individual exhibiting symptoms and diagnosis.

The incomplete data set, leaked to CNN by a whistleblower who said they work inside the Chinese health system.

The documents also reveal that the early stages of the pandemic coincided with a significant reported influenza outbreak in Hubei.

China has consistently denied allegations that it intentionally covered coronavirus data, calling it “a calculated slur,” per Bloomberg.

Health experts told CNN that the country had made mistakes in the early stages of the pandemic.

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