The current outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has quickly spread across countries and become a global crisis. Understanding the transmission mechanism and effects of interventions is critical to the prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent study by Hao et al (2020) provided an interesting perspective on the transmission dynamics of COVID-19 in Wuhan and inferred that 87% of the infections before 8 March 2020 were not laboratory-confirmed. However we believe that there are a few major issues due to the vagueness in the definitions of compartments and inconsistence in the settings of parameters. In this paper, we clarify the definitions of the model compartments and raise questions in regard to the underlying homogenous assumption within compartments and settings of the parameters in the dynamic model by Hao et al (2020), and furthermore offer a modified model to resolve these potential limitations. Compared with the model in Hao et al (2020), the active virus carriers were predicted to persist for a longer period in our model which is well consistent with the active virus carriers detected in Wuhan in mid-May. Our model suggests that control measures cannot be easily lifted while continuous efforts are needed to contain the spread of the pandemic; a universal PT-PCR screening is essential to detect hidden cases before lifting control measure. In addition, we also provide a possible solution to solve the problem of heterogeneity transmission rate in disease courses.