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According to a report from the South China Morning Post, which was then shared by The Guardian, Axios, Western Journal, The Blaze, and Japan Broadcasting (among others), over 43,000 people tested positive in China for coronavirus by the end of February and were not included in the nation’s official tally of confirmed cases.

This failure by China to report asymptomatic coronavirus cases in its official tally goes against the World Health Organization’s guidance that anyone who tests positive for the virus should be counted as a confirmed case regardless of his or her symptoms, Western Journal reports.

The Chinese government data obtained by the South China Morning Post is supposed to represent “silent carriers” or people who tested positive for the virus but showed no symptoms.

The report added that these asymptomatic individuals were placed in quarantine and were monitored by authorities.

More from Western Journal:

While the WHO has said asymptomatic transmission of coronavirus is “extremely rare,” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported instances of asymptomatic individuals spreading the virus.

“Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms,” the CDC stated. “[B]ut this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.”

And a joint study by a panel of experts in China, the United States, Britain and Hong Kong in January estimated that upward of 79 percent of confirmed coronavirus cases in Wuhan were spread by individuals showing mild or no symptoms.

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“These undocumented infections often experience mild, limited, or no symptoms and hence go unrecognized, and, depending on their contagiousness and numbers, can expose a far greater portion of the population to the virus than would otherwise occur,” the panel reported.

The WHO did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment on China’s failure to report asymptomatic coronavirus cases.

China’s handling of coronavirus at the onset of the outbreak has come under intense scrutiny.

In early January, Chinese authorities reprimanded the first doctor in Wuhan to warn people about the virus, accusing him of “spreading rumors online” and “severely disrupting social order.”

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