Around the same time, AP reported that China was sacking officials including the ruling Communist Party chief in Hubei, the party secretary in Wuhan and early provincial health commission leaders as well as others after the public criticised local officials for their handling of the epidemic.
Beijing has always been accused of under-reporting its coronavirus numbers, but the data gives an idea of the scale of the problem for the first time.
Critics of the U.S. claim that China caused the pandemic by mishandling and deliberately underreporting cases in the early days say the documents show there was no deliberate attempt to obfuscate data-but rather, that China faced the same struggles many other countries did when first presented with the threat of the unknown virus.
While the World Health Organisation has begun its investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus, China has yet to earn worldwide trust for its claims-and appears to be focusing efforts on blaming other nations for the outbreak.
Meanwhile, China's stand regarding this has always been to defend its response to the virus.
-A week later, China publicly reported 93 deaths in Hubei province, while privately reporting 196 - a difference of more than double.
The global death toll had climbed to 1,475,851 by Wednesday morning.
On March 7, Hubei officially reported 83 cases, but 115 are recorded in the leaked papers. COVID-19 cases first emerged in Wuhan.
Until now, China has only publicly acknowledged 44 cases in 2019 - which it reported to the World Health Organization as "a pneumonia of unknown etiology" on January 3.
These are some of the findings obtained by this medium after analysing internal documents from the Chinese health authorities; in total, 117 pages from the Provincial Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Hubei.
The flu outbreak was first identified in Wuhan in December and in particular in the cities of Yichang and Xianning, CNN reported.
Data manipulation as far as the number of cases are concerned has been noted as well.
Researchers told CNN that it is possible some of these were mis-diagnosed coronavirus cases, but there is no way to know for sure because the data is simply not available.
Experts say it would have made it extremely hard to give accurate advice when the only data available was three weeks old.
Whistleblowers in Hubei have also claimed they were prevented from speaking publicly about the coronavirus as it spread in December. There is a possibility that it may have been a surge of undiagnosed COVID-19 cases.
"It was clear they did make mistakes - and not just mistakes that happen when you are dealing with a novel virus - also bureaucratic and politically-motivated errors in how they handled it", Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, told the publication. It's not just about any intentional cover-up, you are also constrained with by technology and other issues with a novel virus.
A report from early March also indicates that the average time expended between the onset of symptoms and a confirmed diagnosis was about 23.3 days; impeding the officials' ability to address the rapid transmission of the virus, according to experts. However, the internal documents showed the country listed a total of 5,918 cases the same day.
"They had a massive run on the medical system".