Tencent allegedly accidentally released the real numbers of deaths and infections from the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China, quickly changing it back to the official figures.
The accident happened on Saturday evening, Feb. 1, when the second-largest company in China updated its “Epidemic Situation Tracker” webpage which showed skyrocketing numbers of deaths and infections, according to Taiwan News.
The photo above allegedly shows Tencent listing 154,023 people as confirmed cases, while 79,808 were suspected to have the virus. The official number of confirmed cases at the time, however, was about 10 times lower than what the tech company listed and four times lower for the number of suspected cases.
Tencent also recorded 24,589 deaths, while official figures stated 304 deaths at the time.
The company immediately changed the number to the “official” record released by the government that day.
This wasn’t the first time Tencent posted figures higher than the government-approved statistics, as social media users noticed.
Hiroki Lo, a Taiwanese social media user, posted one of three errors on Jan. 26, showing the company’s numbers to be much higher than official figures.
Some social media users believe there was an error in the coding system that caused the “internal data” to accidentally appear. Lo reported that Tencent and NetEase were posting “unmodified statistics” before switching to official numbers in short order.
However, the figures seemed to be close to the estimate Hong Kong University (HKU) released on The Lancet on Feb. 1.
The study states that the number of cases is much more given the 2.68 spread rate per case and the doubling of total infections every 6.4 days.
In its estimation, the number of infected would likely be at 75,815 as of Jan. 25 in Wuhan, a city in Hubei province where the virus originated.
Using the statistics gathered by the university and the model that was developed, the number of cases in Wuhan alone should have reached 150,000.
The latest data from the interactive map made by Johns Hopkins University (JHU) states that the number of people infected is now at 28,344, with 565 deaths and 1,304 total recoveries.