Coughing badly, Zhu Chunxia sat on a sidewalk in the rain on Monday, awaiting transport to a facility where her apartment complex’s residential committee said she could be treated for the new coronavirus sweeping through this central Chinese city.
The ride never came. Though her doctor was almost certain she was infected with the virus, a throat-swab test she had taken came back negative, which meant the facility wouldn’t take her.
“They said we didn’t qualify,” said the 36-year-old mother of two girls. “They wanted positive results.”
In Wuhan, the epicenter of a viral outbreak that has sickened more than 40,000 people and killed more than a thousand, doubts are proliferating among residents over the accuracy of the testing kits that Chinese health authorities are using to diagnose cases.
Medical experts around the globe have expressed fears that the scale of the outbreak could be much larger than Chinese data suggests—in large part because of concerns about potential flaws in testing. Independent experts say many tens of thousands of Wuhan residents are likely infected by the coronavirus, while the city’s government puts the tally at less than 20,000.
At Outbreak’s Center, Wuhan Residents Question Accuracy of Virus Testshttps://t.co/bgBfi53v7P
— Charley Grant (@CGrantWSJ) February 11, 2020