Atlanta CNN  — 

It’s a question that many want answered: Exactly how many people recover from Covid-19?

Most people with Covid-19 have mild illness and are able to recover at home without medical care, while severe cases often receive supportive care in the hospital, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Although there have been regional, national and global data on confirmed cases and deaths, not much has been reported on recovery.

Johns Hopkins University, which is among few institutions that have been tracking recovered cases, has been doing so since its data collection on Covid-19 cases was first made public in an online dashboard in January, Douglas Donovan, a spokesman for the university in Baltimore, said in an email on Friday.

“The category for recoveries began when the outbreak was centered in China, which was issuing official reports on recoveries,” Donovan said in the email.

Then as the outbreak spread around the world, the researchers realized that there were few methods for reporting recoveries and so they decided to limit reports to country estimates only.

“Recovered cases outside China are country-level estimates based on local media reports and may be substantially lower than the true number,” Donovan said.

As for US cases, “the dashboard is not reporting estimates for state and county recoveries in the United States. That may change as more uniform reporting for recoveries expands among local and state governments,” he said. “Currently there is no uniform method for reporting recoveries across the United States. If that changes the dashboard will reflect those numbers accordingly.”

As of Saturday, more than 223,000 people worldwide have recovered from Covid-19, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University dashboard. The actual figure is likely to be higher since the data only cover confirmed cases.

Why tracking recovered cases is important

Knowing the number of recovered cases could help provide an accurate measure of the total number of people that have been infected, said Dr. Bala Hota, a professor of infectious diseases and the associate medical officer for Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.