Authorities in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus was first reported, suppressed key details about the magnitude of the initial outbreak, according to Dr. Zhong Nanshan, the Chinese government's senior medical adviser.
"The local authorities, they didn't like to tell the truth at that time," Zhong said. "At the very beginning they kept silent, and then I said probably we have (a larger) number of people being infected."
Zhong said he became suspicious when the number of officially reported cases in Wuhan remained at 41 for more than 10 days — despite infections emerging overseas.
China has reported more than 82,000 coronavirus cases, with at least 4,633 deaths, according to data from the country's National Health Commission. The number of new infections surged quickly in late January, prompting city lockdowns and nationwide travel bans.
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