A Chinese tech company may have accidentally released the true numbers of the deadly coronavirus outbreak in China.
The official death toll stands at 492 worldwide with over 24,000 confirmed infections globally. But according to statistics briefly posted online by Internet firm Tencent, the true statistics are astronomically higher.
On Saturday evening, Tencent published the shocking stats on its webpage titled "Epidemic Situation Tracker".
Tencent noted that 24,000 people died from the coronavirus outbreak since late December, and 154,000 cases have been confirmed in China alone. That means the death rate is 16% - significantly higher than the death rate for the SARS virus which killed over 700 people in 2002-03.
Moments later, Tencent updated the numbers to reflect the Chinese government's official numbers for that day.
The news comes amid reports that crematoriums are operating 24 hours a day in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the virus.
Crematorium workers are reportedly working around the clock to burn bodies from hospitals. In one video a woman in seen crying for her mother who was cremated within minutes of her death in a hospital. The woman did not get to see her mother's body before it was taken to the crematorium.
The Chinese government has been accused of suppressing the true scale of the epidemic.
There are 11 confirmed cases so far in the United States.
The symptoms of coronavirus are fever, cough, shortness of breath, headache, and diarrhea. There is no cure, but Thailand doctors successfully treated a 70-year-old woman with AIDS and flu drugs.
The best prevention against the coronavirus and flu virus is frequent hand washing and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.