The number of infections is at least 232,000 with the new qualification, the researchers say.

Lhe number of people infected with coronavirus in China is probably four times higher than what has been reported so far, according to a survey reported Thursday by The Guardian newspaper.

Hong Kong-based researchers used figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) to examine the number of infections in China until February 20. Official figures then reported 55,000 cases, but the country has restricted the definition of an infected person several times.

The number of infections is at least 232,000 with the new qualification, the researchers say. This figure could still be underestimated, because some people with mild symptoms or without symptoms were not taken into account.

These results come out as the United States and other Western countries accuse China of having downplayed the gravity of the situation in the country.

China has officially diagnosed more than 83,000 cases of coronavirus. A week ago, the country reported that the number of infections in the city of Wuhan, the cradle of the epidemic, is ultimately 50% higher than what it announced earlier. The number of deaths in Wuhan also suddenly increased last week, from 3,869 to 4,632.

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