Connect with us

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

China withheld info about the early days of Covid – leaked documents out of Wuhan

Avatar

Published

 on 

Covid-19 was first reported at the very end of last year in Wuhan, a city of 11 million in the central Hubei province in China. The deadly respiratory virus has since infected more than 66.8 million people and led to over 1.53 million deaths around the world, according to Worldometers.info

This week, specifically December 1, marks 1 year since the first known patient showed symptoms of the disease in Wuhan, according to a key study in the Lancet medical journal published earlier the year. And what a year it has been.

The common narrative since the earliest days is that China either mishandled or deliberately suppressed, or even destroyed evidence, related to the early days of the outbreak. The Chinese Communist Party and appointed health officials endangered other countries by allegedly silencing doctors and whistleblowers who spoke out about the strange new virus. There were also allegations that government officials destroyed evidence of the new virus in their Wuhan laboratories and refused to provide samples to international scientists who were already working on a vaccine.

Now a series of new documents, verified by experts, point to the answer of the question “what did they know, and when?”

According to the known timeline, by December 30 Wuhan health officials shared internal memos about the “unusual pneumonia”. Some of these leaked on social media. Shi Zhengli, a scientist specialising in coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, famous for being able to trace the original SARS virus back to bats living in a cave, was told about the new strain of coronavirus. She immediately headed back from a conference in Shanghai to Wuhan to investigate the situation.

Then on December 31, on the eve of 2020, the World Health Organisation learned about the mysterious pneumonia cases from an open-source internet platform that searches for any mentions on outbreaks anywhere in the world. The WHO were contacted by their regional office about the finding of the internet reports.

Now, a whistleblower, who claims to have worked in the Chinese health care system, has leaked 117 pages of hitherto unseen internal documents from the Hubei Provincial Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, to US cable news giant CNN. CNN entitled the special investigation “The Wuhan Files”.

According to a report published in CNN this week, the document marked as “internal document please keep confidential,” local health authorities in Hubei province list a total of 5,918 newly detected cases on February 10. This is more than double the officially declared numbers released to the public of new, confirmed cases. This larger total was never fully revealed at the time, as China’s health statistics seemed, amid the tumult of the early weeks of the pandemic, to downplay the possible severity of the outbreak.

The documents have now been verified by 6 experts, showed how health officials and medical practitioners in the Hubei Province struggled to manage the coronavirus up to April 2020. These very early days were a critical period where the novel coronavirus spread from central China to other provinces and then beyond its borders to the rest of the world.

On January 13, the World Health Organisation announced that Thailand had the first confirmed case of the coronavirus outside of China.

All together, thees new documents amount to the most significant leak from inside China since the start of the Covid-19 story and provide a clear view of what local authorities already knew, and when. Although these newly leaked documents provide no direct evidence of a deliberate attempt to obfuscate information from the very early days of the new virus, they do reveal numerous inconsistencies in what authorities claimed was happening and what was revealed to the public.

But the documents fall short of proving any specific malicious intent, often used in accusations against the health and party officials in China. The long incubation period of Covid-19, thought to be up to 14 days, also confounded early understanding of the dynamics of the new virus.

To complicate the revelations, at the same time the novel coronavirus was emerging, the leaked documents reveal that another local public health challenge was unfolding. Hubei was also dealing with a significant seasonal influenza outbreak. In fact there was 20 times the level recorded the previous year, according to the documents, placing new levels of stress on the local health system and health workers.
This influenza “epidemic”, was not only present in Wuhan in December, but was greatest in the neighbouring cities of Yichang and Xianning, about 150 kilometres from Wuhan. The leaked documents don’t reveal what impact or connection this influenza spike may have had on the Covid-19 outbreak, if any. At this stage there is no suggestion in the documentation that the two coinciding health challenges are linked. Further information regarding the full impact of Hubei’s 2019 influenza spike is still yet to be made public.

China has continued staunchly defended its handling of the early days of the outbreak. On June 7, China’s State Council released a White Paper proclaiming that the Chinese government “had always published information related to the epidemic in a timely, open and transparent fashion”.

But the reason for the origin of Covid-19 remains unknown at this time, although theories abound including the wet markets of Wuhan (also strongly suspected to have been the cause of the SARS1 coronavirus). Either bats or civets are still thought to have been the root source. Local Chinese health authorities initially thought the early Covid patients had fallen ill through exposure to a common infection source in the markets but initially ruled out this new pathogen as “contagious” until January 20.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, along with leading Chinese politicians, have been rejecting assertions made by the US and some other Western governments that it deliberately concealed information relating to the novel coronavirus, maintaining that it has been upfront since the beginning of the outbreak. The stories of the early days of Covid-19 have also been hijacked by conspiracy theorists who have embellished, or simply invented, their own versions of the early days of Covid-19.

SOURCE: CNN.com

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Fabian

    Monday, December 7, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    China is playing a very nasty game. The German scientist Kekulé noted that the current virulent virus strain comes from Italy, which just means the original virus has mutated. Kekulé has stated many times that he believes Covid-19 originated in Wuhan. But the Chinese state media are now trying really hard to rewrite history by twisting Kekulé’s words and stating the virus did not originate in Wuhan.

    • Avatar

      Alte Ledertasche

      Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 3:50 pm

      CNBC from 15th of November

      The new coronavirus was circulating in Italy since September 2019, a study by the National Cancer Institute (INT) of the Italian city of Milan shows, signaling that Covid-19 might have spread beyond China earlier than previously thought.

      The World Health Organization has said the new coronavirus and Covid-19, the respiratory disease it causes, were unknown before the outbreak was first reported in Wuhan, in central China, in December.

      Italy’s first Covid-19 patient was detected on Feb. 21 in a little town near Milan, in the northern region of Lombardy.

      But the Italian researchers’ findings, published by the INT’s scientific magazine Tumori Journal, show that 11.6% of 959 healthy volunteers enrolled in a lung cancer screening trial between September 2019 and March 2020, had developed coronavirus antibodies well before February.

      A further specific SARS-CoV-2 antibodies test was carried out by the University of Siena for the same research titled “Unexpected detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the pre-pandemic period in Italy”.

      It showed that four cases dated back to the first week of October were also positive for antibodies neutralizing the virus, meaning they had got infected in September, Giovanni Apolone, a co-author of the study, told Reuters.

      “This is the main finding: people with no symptoms not only were positive after the serological tests but had also antibodies able to kill the virus,” Apolone said.

      “It means that the new coronavirus can circulate among the population for long and with a low rate of lethality not because it is disappearing but only to surge again,” he added.

      Italian researchers told Reuters in March that they reported a higher than usual number of cases of severe pneumonia and flu in Lombardy in the last quarter of 2019 in a sign that the new coronavirus might have circulated earlier than previously thought.

      • Avatar

        preesy chepuce

        Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 10:42 pm

        News bought and paid for by Peking, the CCP, and it’s elite capture of the WHO?

  2. Avatar

    Gosport

    Monday, December 7, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    Science prevails not fake news outlet like CNN or Foxnews. The country showing respect for science has fewer casualities. Flaunting fake science only makes locals suffer.

    • Avatar

      Dale

      Monday, December 7, 2020 at 8:00 pm

      Whhhhhhhaaaaaat? Lol you okay?

    • Avatar

      14cycles

      Monday, December 7, 2020 at 9:17 pm

      I agree science is great… but which science?

      Anyone named a “scientist” i one put mentos on a diet coke… am I a scientist?

  3. Avatar

    Steve

    Monday, December 7, 2020 at 8:05 pm

    Amazing talk about deja vou, I only mentioned this fact on The Thiger yesterday regarding Thailands trust in China

  4. Avatar

    Tom

    Monday, December 7, 2020 at 8:37 pm

    Congratulations Thaiger you’re reporting something that’s been common knowledge fomr the start… Simple fact is the Chinese lied and people know it, you don’t stop flight within your own country and let international flights continue and then have your mouthpeice the WHO speak out against countries stopping flights

    Look simply the Chinese will NEVER admit to the virus orginating in thier country because they know the backlash they’ll get from other worldwide countries, at the start of the virus they were buying up PPE world wide and shipping it back to China so they knew fine rightly the possible outcomes and they tried to protect themselves while letting their infected citizens fly worldwide

  5. Avatar

    Tom Easton

    Monday, December 7, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    Congratulations Thaiger you’re reporting something that’s been common knowledge fomr the start… Simple fact is the Chinese lied and people know it, you don’t stop flight within your own country and let international flights continue and then have your mouthpeice the WHO speak out against countries stopping flights

    Look simply the Chinese will NEVER admit to the virus orginating in thier country because they know the backlash they’ll get from other worldwide countries, at the start of the virus they were buying up PPE world wide and shipping it back to China so they knew fine rightly the possible outcomes and they tried to protect themselves while letting their infected citizens fly worldwide

  6. Avatar

    Issan John

    Monday, December 7, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    According to an article in the AP today, China also used tests that were ineffective, limiting approved tests to only three firms that were unable to produce workable tests with reliable results, but which had “connections” to those in the Chinese CDC.

    Unparallelled in terms of corruption, if so, even in China.

    • Avatar

      Alte Ledertasche

      Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 9:35 am

      Said Who ? The AP which is an american news agency…i would not believe any single word they say.

      • Avatar

        The Thaiger

        Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 11:29 am

        If you don’t trust AP who DO you trust? Asking for our editorial team.

        • Avatar

          Alte Ledertasche

          Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 1:23 pm

          People who bring me cash money, small unmarked denomination banknotes please. EURO preferred.

          • Avatar

            Fabian

            Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 1:57 pm

            Than you probably trust the CPC because they like to bribe people that way.

        • Avatar

          Ro

          Thursday, December 10, 2020 at 9:34 am

          1) EPOCH Times

          2) NDT

          3) Crossroads with Joshua Phillips

          4) WION (India)

          • Avatar

            The Thaiger

            Thursday, December 10, 2020 at 9:50 am

            1) No idea what you’re talking about
            2) You have an acronym for everything
            3) I have a friend called Joshua
            4) It’s time for a coffee

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 1:14 pm

        “Said who?”

        Sorry, which part of “according to an article in the AP today” isn’t clear?

  7. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Monday, December 7, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    While not really ground breaking news, people have long known most of these details. I do find it ironic this is a CNN story since they have been carrying the CCPs water for almost a year now. Funny how they can suddenly discover long known facts and then change their opinion of them all because their man will soon be in the White House. As others point out, I do find it amazing that Thailand seems to be more than willing to believe anything China claims when to date they have done nothing but lie.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 1:42 pm

      Ed V, I’m genuinely not sure if the Thai government are “more than willing to believe anything China claims”, as so far they’ve resisted considerable pressure from the tourism industry to open “travel bubbles” or an “air corridor” with China.

      So far.

      What I do find “amazing”, though, is that the tourism industry, and in particular the Westerners involved in it, are so willing to accept China’s claims, as you say, and to put the rest of the country at risk as a result.

      Extraordinarily selfish.

  8. Avatar

    Patrick Kelly

    Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 12:59 am

    Even the CCP apologists are starting to flee apparently.

  9. Avatar

    Patrick Kelly

    Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 2:08 am

    China now saying it originated in Italy or several other countries. The media is reporting this to the sheep.
    Soon China will have thousands of Wolf Warriors confusing the global population. China apologists are not a rare breed in Thailand. There are a few on this site I’ve noticed.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 1:23 pm

      Do you have any source for China saying that, or for the media reporting it?

      AFAIK that’s never been reported, at least by any mainstream media, and what’s been reported is that the virus mutated in Italy to become more virulent, as it mutated when crossing to mink who can then transfer it to humans although the mink mutations are reportedly less dangerous.

      • Avatar

        Patrick Kelly

        Friday, December 11, 2020 at 2:41 am

        Was Wuhan outbreak caused by imported frozen products?
        By Liu Caiyu Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/16 21:03:40

      • Avatar

        Patrick Kelly

        Friday, December 11, 2020 at 2:51 am

        China Points Finger at Imported Food Packaging as It Casts Doubt on COVID-19 Origins
        China’s new focus on testing packaging comes amid a media push to claim that frozen food imports brought the virus to Wuhan in the first place.

        Associated Press Nov 26

        The Diplomat

  10. Avatar

    harry1

    Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    l read a article in the bangkok post in march 2020 where the article stated clearly, by a medical chief in china that the virus started in the Wuhan market. and ever since been in denial ? even recently accusing the virus came from imported beef from Australia. what was disappointing was the lack of information and transparency in helping the world

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 1:35 pm

      Agreed, harry1, the desperate recent back pedalling is as disappointing as the original cover up.

      It happened, it seems pretty clear why it happened and there’s nothing anyone can do to turn back the clock or atone for the many mistakes made or make anyone ‘pay’ for them anyway, so it all seems a bit pointless.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thailand's largest online portal for news and information.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 mins ago

Monday Covid Update: 17,970 new cases and 178 deaths

Phuket15 mins ago

Phuket sealed off from tomorrow in bid to curb virus spread, save sandbox

Coronavirus Vaccines42 mins ago

Bangkok vaccination centres shut down at weekend due to vaccine shortages

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand conservation adds 17 rare Indochinese tigers this year

Pattaya7 hours ago

Man falls off 4th story roof only breaking arm and chin

Thailand11 hours ago

Family finds long lost man after he is rescued from 17 metre well

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

16 new dark red provinces and restrictions extended to August 16

Hua Hin14 hours ago

Hua Hin Maya Club execs get 3 months for superspreader event

Myanmar16 hours ago

Thai candidate selected as ASEAN envoy to Myanmar

Coronavirus (Covid-19)17 hours ago

Foreigners able to register on vaccine site despite data leaks, glitches

Thailand17 hours ago

Covid UPDATE: 18,027 infections, provincial totals

Thailand1 day ago

Covid UPDATE Sunday: 18,027 infections, expat vaccine registration

Transport1 day ago

August flight plans: Bangkok Airways, Nok Air, Thai Lion

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

New site for foreigner vaccine; Mor Prom deletes appointments

Politics1 day ago

Facebook fake news post suggesting a coup faces prosecution

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending