The authorities of Chinese Wuhan, the first city on the way to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, hid important information about the new virus, including data on the number of cases and transmission methods, senior medical adviser to the Chinese government Zhong Nanshan told CNN in an interview.
As part of a team of experts from the National Health Commission, he visited Wuhan on January 18. Immediately after arrival, the epidemiologist received many reports from local doctors and students that the real situation was much worse than official reports.
“The local authorities, they did not want to tell the truth then. At first, they were silent, and then I said: we probably have more infected people,” Dr. Zhong recalls.
The epidemiologist suspected something was wrong when the number of cases in Wuhan for ten days remained at 41 people. At the same time, reports of coronavirus cases in other countries have already begun to arrive.
“I did not believe this result and insisted that they present me the real numbers. They are very reluctant to answer my questions,” he says.
Two days later, in Beijing, Dr. Zhong received real statistics. On January 20, 198 people were infected with the coronavirus in the city, including 13 doctors. Three people have died. On the same day, an epidemiologist invited the government to quarantine Wuhan.
Recognizing the concealment of information in Wuhan, Zhong Nanshan nonetheless denies the falsification of official statistics on sick and dead in China. Earlier, other countries have repeatedly accused China of underestimating their number to create a picture of the successful fight against COVID-19.
The epidemiologist also denies the possibility of artificially creating a virus at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and Dr. Shi Zhengli, the leading scientist of the institute, calls it a “good friend.” According to Dr. Zhong, the local institute did not have the ability to artificially eliminate the deadly virus.
The interlocutor of the journalists also recalled that the coronavirus COVID-19 is much more dangerous than the flu, so do not underestimate it. In addition, there is no reliable evidence that the virus gives patients a stable immunity. So, a new flash is possible.
Recall that China and the United States regularly exchange mutual accusations about the origin of the virus. At the same time, Brussels calls on Beijing to cooperate in investigating the causes of the pandemic.
On May 10, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China issued a large article refuting the “ridiculous US claims” about coronavirus. In the article, the PRC reports on the “timeliness” and “openness” of information from China and promotes government statements, backed up by quotes from Chinese media.
In the publication, China refutes the statement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that China hid information about the new coronavirus and that it originated in a laboratory in Wuhan. In an effort to refute US assumptions that the article says that all the data show that the virus is not created by humans and that this institution is not able to synthesize a new coronavirus.
Earlier, Trump called the coronavirus “plague from China. ” The head of the White House and his Republican supporters have repeatedly blamed China for not warning the world about the seriousness and extent of the COVID-19 outbreak.