Taiwan’s vice president Chen Chien-jen claimed in a May 8 interview with France24 (around 3:40) that they cannot find the official number of Covid-19 tests performed in China... the implication being obviously that such [official] numbers aren't easily available or even published by China.

(Note that he is not talking about the number of cases reported but rather the number of tests performed; that number is also important in a number of ways e.g. relative to the number of cases found.)

So, is that true basically, has China not officially (and conspicuously) published the number of Covid-19 tests it has performed?

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    One needs to keep in mind that reports of US testing are, um, incredible: Public labs have done 819 thousand tests. Trump says US will pass 10 million coronavirus tests this week. Commented May 12, 2020 at 17:05
  • @DanielRHicks - I don't think 10 million tests is that incredible. Even assuming that every test was on a different person (and given that the White House staff has been repeatedly tested, that distribution seems unlikely), that's still a 3% testing rate - which is definitely not enough.
    – jdunlop
    Commented May 12, 2020 at 23:03
  • @jdunlop - Think about it -- "in-credible". Commented May 12, 2020 at 23:38
  • @DanielRHicks I know, I was treating the word by its original definition. But I think 10 million tests is a credible figure. Whether those tests are good, or well-distributed, or consistently applied are obviously confounding factors, but I'd view "we've administered ten million tests" as a credible assertion at this point.
    – jdunlop
    Commented May 12, 2020 at 23:42
  • @jdunlop - 10 million tests would be good. But there's no way that number have been done in the US. If you believe Trump's claim that that many tests have been done I have some beachfront property in the Mohave Desert to sell you. Commented May 12, 2020 at 23:51

1 Answer 1


OurWorldInData includes China on a long list of countries for which it could not find official data for testing performed. They note as of 05 May 2020:

we are not aware of any figures relating to the whole of China. There is some data relating to parts of China, for instance press releases concerning testing in Guangdong province.

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