Tuesday, December 1st, 2020
The Chinese authorities downplayed the extent and thus the risk of the corona outbreak in Hubei province in the first few months of the pandemic. CNN reports, citing documents from the provincial health authority that the US broadcaster has.
Chinese authorities announced on February 10th that there were a total of 2,478 new corona cases across the country, bringing the total to more than 40,000. At that time, all but 400 cases were limited to the People’s Republic. In fact, on February 10, the authorities counted 5,918 new cases in Hubei alone – more than double the number reportedly across the country at the time. In Hubei alone, 3,911 new cases were registered that day.
The numbers were also so small because the authorities only published the number of confirmed cases. Sick patients who had been “clinically diagnosed” but not tested – for example by X-ray or computer tomography – were counted as suspected cases. On February 10, this affected 1,771 cases in Hubei alone. In mid-February, the Chinese authorities abandoned this approach.
“Bureaucratic and Politically Motivated Mistakes”
However, there were still differences between the official and the unofficial count. On March 7, Hubei Province officially registered 2,986 corona deaths, of which 3456 were unofficially, including 2,675 confirmed, 647 clinically diagnosed and 126 suspected cases.
The material, a total of 117 pages from October 2019 to April 2020, was leaked to CNN by a whistleblower.
A report from the beginning of March said the average time between the onset of symptoms and a diagnosis of Covid-19 disease was 23.3 days. An effective fight against the epidemic was hardly possible. It is clear that the Chinese authorities have made mistakes, health expert Yanzhong Huang from the US think tank Council on Foreign Relations told the broadcaster. These were not only mistakes “that happen when you are dealing with a new type of virus,” said Huang, but also “bureaucratic and politically motivated mistakes”.
Propaganda with fake key witnesses from Germany
The Chinese government has now started to deny the origin of the pandemic. “The coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan, but it did not originate here,” said Zeng Guang, the former chief epidemiologist for the Chinese health authorities, on November 19. According to the Hong Kong South China Morning Post, his successor Wu Zunyou had already made a similar statement. According to the British “Guardian”, Chinese scientists have submitted a study to the journal “The Lancet”, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, which claims that Wuhan is not the place where the virus was first transmitted from animals to humans. This could have happened on the “Indian subcontinent”.
Such claims are also being made by Chinese state media. “New coronavirus not from Wuhan, says top German virologist,” was the headline of China’s state foreign broadcaster CGTN. What was meant was the virologist Alexander Kekulé from the University of Halle-Wittenberg. However, Kekulé never said it like that, as the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” explains: Instead, he put forward his thesis on Markus Lanz’s talk show that the coronavirus that occurred in northern Italy was a genetically modified form that was originally discovered in Wuhan Variant is. When asked, Kekulé clearly distanced himself from the Chinese claim that the virus did not come from Wuhan. CGTN did not show this section.
For months, the World Health Organization (WHO) has wanted to send an international team of experts to Wuhan to investigate how the transmission to humans took place. According to the FAZ, China has so far not given the green light to such an investigation. From the Chinese point of view, the experts are also doing research in the wrong place: “The search for the origin is an ongoing process that encompasses many countries and regions,” said the Chinese Foreign Office spokesman Zaho Lijian at the end of November.