World Wuhan: the number of contaminations largely underestimated by China

20:45  01 december  2020
20:45  01 december  2020 Source:   liberation.fr

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Download the daily number of new reported cases of COVID-19 by country worldwide. The downloadable data file is updated daily and contains the latest available public data on COVID-19. The number of deaths in Europe was less than the negative numbers reported by Spain that day.

Un homme tient le portrait d'une victime du Covid-19 devant un cimetière de Wuhan, en Chine, le 31 mars. © HECTOR RETAMAL A man holds a portrait of a Covid-19 victim in front of a cemetery in Wuhan, China, on March 31. Documents leaked by CNN reveal the mismanagement of the early stages of Covid-19 in this city, the focus of the epidemic.

The Chinese government initially largely underestimated the scale of the Covid-19 epidemic. This time it is an internal and confidential report that proves it. Relayed this Tuesday by CNN l the American news channel CNN , this document, from the Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention of Hubei Province shows Beijing's mismanagement of the early stages of the epidemic, in Wuhan, where the virus was first detected.

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On Monday, China 's National Health Commission confirmed that the Wuhan coronavirus can be passed from human-to-human and that According to a recent study by Imperial College London, the number of infections in Wuhan itself are likely a gross underestimation , raising the risk that carriers

Earlier on Monday, Chinese authorities reported that the number of cases had tripled over the weekend to 218. The pneumonia outbreak emerged last month in Wuhan , the largest city in central China and a major transportation hub. Officials in China have linked the viral infections to a Wuhan

Since the start of the crisis, China has been accused by many experts of reducing the number of confirmed cases linked to Covid-19. On February 10, after receiving a team of international specialists sent by the World Health Organization, Chinese authorities reported 2,478 confirmed cases in Hubei. On the same date, President Xi Jinping called for greater public communication. However, a 117-page file marked "internal document, please keep confidential", then counted 5918, more than double.

"Defective tests and reporting"

These documents, which constitute the largest information leak from China since the start of the crisis, are a first step in understanding what the local authorities knew, and what they did not disclose, thus promoting the spread of the virus. The files transmitted to the American channel by an anonymous whistleblower, do not, for the moment, provide any evidence of the intentional nature of this cover-up. However, he recounts many inconsistencies, especially between the ineffectiveness of the diagnostic process and the information communicated publicly.

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Roads are empty in Wuhan , China , the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, where a strict lockdown is in effect. Stringer for NPR hide caption. But as the number of coronavirus cases continues to climb, Hubei officials have implemented more drastic policies on nearly 60 million residents.

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Authorities in Hubei province at the time presented their initial handling of the epidemic as transparent and reliable, when these documents actually portray completely flawed testing and reporting mechanisms. Among documents released in early March, the report said the average time from onset of symptoms to confirmed diagnosis was 23.3 days. This would have seriously hampered the means to eradicate the virus, according to experts. At the same time, Xi Jinping was defending body and soul, his handling of the crisis after the first wave, with the publication of a white paper claiming that the Chinese government had always published "timely, open and transparent" information. .

A year after the start of the pandemic, experts cited by CNN believe that even with flawless transparency the pandemic probably could not have been avoided. On the other hand, these revelations come as the European Union and the United States are pressuring China to cooperate without hesitation with the WHO investigation intended to understand the origin of the epidemic that has caused 1.46 million deaths worldwide. The world organization announced last week that it had received permission from its Chinese members to undertake a "field trip" as part of the research. But so far, its international experts have had limited access to medical information from hospitals in Hubei.

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