China lying about severity of Coronavirus outbreak

Residents of virus-hit city accuse government of withholding information and downplaying severity of viral outbreak.

Chongqing, China - Jianguo was exhausted when he returned home after a long day's work at Wuhan's Pulmonary Hospital, one of the medical facilities designated to treat those infected with a new type of coronavirus in the central Chinese city.

The 52-year-old cleaner said his hospital was overwhelmed by the sheer number of people seeking medical care, with doctors and nurses overworked and supplies running low.

Since the new virus was first detected in Wuhan in late December, nearly 400 people have died and more than 17,000 others infected - the vast majority of deaths and infections have occurred in Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital. The rapidly spreading virus has stretched the healthcare systems in Hubei, with some medical personnel saying China's government was completely unprepared for the outbreak and describing its response as chaotic.

But when Jianguo turned on his television on January 28, he was greeted by television anchors hailing the government's "transparent and swift" response and videos of Wuhan residents joyfully expressing faith in the Chinese Communist Party to contain the virus.

Speaking to Al Jazeera on the telephone, Jianguo, who preferred to give one name, said he immediately contacted his son, an avid user of the Chinese micro-blogging site, Weibo.

"Are you seeing the news? Are they serious?" he recalled telling his son. "Doctors and nurses at my hospital are so exhausted that they are on the edge of breaking down. And those people who look so happy on camera - are they living in a different universe?"

Jianguo's son immediately posted a message on his Weibo account, along with a picture from the hospital of doctors and nurses sleeping on chairs in apparent exhaustion. "I don't care what CCTV is saying," he wrote, referring to Chinese state television. "But the situation in Wuhan is still dire."

The picture, which was quickly shared and liked by thousands of Weibo users, is just one among many posted on Chinese social media in recent days, challenging the official narrative offered by the heavily-censored state-media

China has tightly controlled the coverage of the outbreak, according to Human Rights Watch, which on January 30 accused Chinese authorities of withholding information from the public, under-reporting cases of infection and downplaying the severity of the infection. The New York-based rights group said Chinese police have harassed people on allegations of "spreading rumours" about the outbreak, including the detention of a doctor who had warned colleagues that the new virus was similar to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which had killed 349 people and infected 5,300 others in mainland China in 2003.

Indeed, it was only after January 20, when President Xi Jinping issued a statement saying he would curb the spread of the outbreak and called for the release of information in a "timely manner", that state media started to report on the extent of the crisis. Days later, Wuhan, a city of 11 million, was placed under quarantine and the lockdown was extended to an area of more than 50 million people - measures the World Health Organization (WHO) has praised Chinese authorities for.

But in the days that followed, many Wuhan residents took to social media to criticise the government's handling of the crisis, with users complaining about what they said was a lack of adequate care at hospitals as well as what they called a delay in informing citizens of the outbreak.

On Wednesday, another Weibo user posted a picture of her grandfather lying in the hallway of a hospital and wrote: "My grandfather has been having a fever for three days now, and no hospital is admitting him! Is the government going to let all of us die like this?!"

On January 22, one user posted an article asking the question: "Why did it take the outbreak so long to attract public attention?". In response to the article, another user alleged: "The government already knew the existence of human-to-human transmission in early January, but still, news kept telling us there was no such possibility. They also arrested eight people who shared the information initially for spreading rumours. Not until there were over confirmed cases did the government start to respond. Shouldn't the government be responsible?"

Another young man from the neighbouring city of Huanggang said in a video posted online on January 30: "I might be arrested after posting this video. But I still want all of you to know how dire the situation is in Huanggang, and we are in desperate need of help - the government doesn't care about us any more!"

That video has since been taken down.

The Chinese authorities closely monitor all information shared on Weibo and other platforms, deleting posts that counter the government narrative and banning users that do so. And so in this context, some observers say the current anger and frustration on Weibo is extraordinary.

China's more tech-savvy citizens are also turning to platforms blocked in the country, such as Twitter and YouTube, using virtual private network services to get the message out.

"I am not even afraid of death; do you think I'll be afraid of you - Communist Party?" Qiushi Chen, a well-known lawyer who travelled to Wuhan to report on the outbreak said in a Twitter video that also complained about the lack of medical supplies at hospitals.

Another Wuhan resident, in a video posted on YouTube, described life under lockdown. "It's like living in hell, waiting for death," he said.

This and other social media posts not only offer a closer look at what is happening on the ground in Wuhan but also give a human face to the suffering in the city.

For instance, in one article posted on WeChat, one woman described her mother's death in detail.

"The car that picked up my mother's corpse drove away, and I was running after it, crying like I never did before," she wrote. "It was a cold day - I felt despair and hopelessness."

Amid the apparent frustration in Wuhan, some of China's privately-owned media have also begun to question the official narrative, publishing stories on the lack of medical supplies and questioning the conduct of the local Red Cross, which has been accused of failing to disburse donations.

Caixin, a widely read news website, even published an interview with the doctor who was questioned for speaking out on the spread of the new virus and another article suggesting the lack of freedom of speech in China had affected the effort to contain the outbreak.

Yet, state-media coverage of the coronavirus remains overwhelmingly positive - there is little mention of the apparent anger in Wuhan and news anchors on state television repeat on an almost hourly basis the message that the "international society has been highly impressed by Chinese government's fast response and the unprecedented measures to contain the outbreak".

The state-owned English language Global Times, meanwhile, has focused on measures taken by the Chinese government in addressing the crisis, including the wide-ranging lockdown and the construction of a new hospital in Wuhan within 10 days.

"Some measures which are unbelievable at ordinary times have been quickly implemented and the entire society has been cooperating. A large but orderly situation against the epidemic has been formed," it said in an article that also slammed the United States's recent decision to bar travellers from China in a bid to limit the spread of the new virus.

"The pandemic will finally pass. Many people bad-mouthed China during SARS 17 years ago, but what happened after? Nobody should underestimate China's ability to fight a public health crisis. Since we can take measures that many countries cannot take, we can also quickly recover vitality after the crisis," the article said.



So the Chinese are lying about the Coronavirus outbreak, and it is much more severe outbreak than they are letting on. What a surprise.
It's a culling.
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

It's a culling.

In that case lets send trudOWE and his trust fund cronies over there to help out.
Wuhan coronavirus: Confirmed cases top 20,000 as China marks deadliest day
WUHAN, CHINA - JANUARY 30: (CHINA - OUT) Work continues on Wuhan Huoshenshan hospital on January 30, 2020 in Wuhan, China. The 1000-bed hospital is scheduled to open on February 5. The number of cases of a deadly new coronavirus rose to over 7000 in mainland China Thursday as the country continued to lock down the city of Wuhan in an effort to contain the spread of the pneumonia-like disease which medicals experts have confirmed can be passed from human to human.

In an unprecedented move, Chinese authorities put travel restrictions on the city which is the epicenter of the virus and neighboring municipalities affecting tens of millions of people. The number of those who have died from the virus in China climbed to over 170 on Thursday, mostly in Hubei province, and cases have been reported in other countries including the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and France. The World Health Organization has warned all governments to be on alert, and its emergency committee is to meet later on Thursday to decide whether to declare a global health emergency.

The spread of the Wuhan coronavirus shows no signs of slowing, as China reported another major spike in both confirmed cases and deaths in the region at the heart of the epidemic.
The total number of confirmed cases in China stands at 20,438 as of Tuesday morning, including a 1-month-old baby in southwestern Guizhou province, an increase of 3,235 on the previous day -- an over 18% jump. The death toll is now at 425 in China, an increase of around 65 from Sunday.
Outside of China, the prevalence of the virus remains far lower, but more than 185 cases have been reported in over two dozen countries and territories. Two people have died outside mainland China since the outbreak began. One in the Philippines, and another in the semi-autonomous Chinese city of Hong Kong, which reported on Tuesday that a 39-year-old man who had traveled to Wuhan last month had died.
In a meeting with top officials Monday, Chinese President Xi Jinping called the virus outbreak a "major test of China's system and capacity for governance," as the extended Lunar New Year holiday and growing concerns began to take a toll on the country's economy.
According to state media, Xi demanded "resolute opposition against bureaucratism and the practice of formalities for formalities' sake in the prevention work," adding that those who disobeyed would be punished. His comments could be an indication that frustration is growing over the failure to rein in the virus, and the slow initial response by Wuhan officials, some of whom have already offered to resign over their handling of the crisis.
Xi also called for an improvement in the country's emergency management system, an "overhaul of environmental sanitation," improvements to public health, and a "crackdown on illegal wildlife markets and trade."
Worldwide crisis
Even as cases of the virus are reported worldwide, the majority of patients have a link to China, either tourists or people returning home from a visit to the country. Person-to-person transmission of the virus has been confirmed, however, including among some patients overseas, and countries are scrambling to ensure it does not spread further afield.
On Monday, authorities in Japan quarantined a cruise ship at a port in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, after an elderly male passenger on the vessel was found to be infected with the virus when he disembarked in Hong Kong in late January.
Japanese health authorities said around 2,500 passengers and some 1,000 crew members are on board the Diamond Princess, which returned to Yokohama after stops in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Taiwan, and the Japanese prefectures of Okinawa and Kagoshima. At least seven people on board said they feel ill, though none have been confirmed to have the virus.
All passengers will be checked, authorities said, with the results expected Tuesday evening.
Japan is one of around a dozen countries which have evacuated citizens from Wuhan, which remains on tight lockdown along with much of surrounding Hubei province. Italy repatriated 56 nationals on Monday, as the US said it would send additional flights to evacuate hundreds of Americans who remain in Hubei.
Closer to China, the semiautonomous city of Macao announced on Tuesday that it will suspend operations of gambling and related industries for half a month in an effort to contain the virus.
The outbreak has had a devastating impact on tourism in the gambling enclave, which relies heavily on mainland Chinese visitors. Gambling is illegal on the mainland and Lunar New Year is usually a particularly busy time for Macao's casinos. But not this year -- tourism to the city has dropped 73.6% year-on-year, the Macao government announced on January 29.
The self-governing island of Taiwan said on Tuesday that it will implement entry restrictions for foreign nationals who have been to mainland China starting on Friday.
The restrictions mean that any foreign national who has visited or lived in mainland China in the past 14 days will be denied entry to Taiwan, barring exceptions for those needing to enter for "special reasons," according to the island's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
And Hong Kong on Monday announced further closures to its borders with the mainland. All but three crossings, including the two busiest land borders, are now closed.
The announcement by the semiautonomous city's leader Carrie Lam came after health care workers began strike action Monday to demand the city be fully sealed off from the mainland. Memories of the deadly 2003 SARS outbreak run deep in Hong Kong, where many businesses have sent workers home to avoid spread of the virus. Unions said strike action will continue Tuesday unless further action is taken by Lam.
Economic pain
With the virus outbreak in its third month with no signs of slowing, cities across China have announced further efforts to try and stop it.
Hangzhou, the capital of eastern Zhejiang province, on Monday reportedly announced some of the tightest quarantine measures outside Hubei. People returning to the city from outside Hangzhou could face up to two weeks in quarantine, while all public places will be closed for the foreseeable future, according to local media.
The stringent restrictions and extended holidays across much of China are beginning to impact the country's economy, however. China's stock markets posted major losses on Monday, their first day open following the Lunar New Year break.
The losses on the Shanghai and Shenzhen markets wiped out a combined $445 billion in value. Monday was Shanghai's worst day since 2015, and Shenzhen's worst since 2007.
The value of the Chinese yuan also fell, while global oil prices have suffered amid fears that the virus outbreak will destroy demand in China, the world's largest crude importer.
Authorities in China have already announced a 1.2 trillion yuan ($173 billion) injection into Chinese markets to help maintain "reasonably ample liquidity" in the banking system and keep currency markets stable. The net amount of cash flooding into the market will be closer to 150 billion yuan ($22 billion), according to Reuters, as more than 1 trillion yuan worth of other short-term bond agreements matured Monday.
Hong Kong is also bracing for further difficulties. The city was already in a technical recession after more than six months of anti-government protests and the US-China trade war, and many analysts fear the effects of the virus could wipe out many businesses.
While the national economy is already suffering, it's unclear how long Chinese workers can remain at home, with many facing several weeks out of work since the beginning of the Lunar New Year holiday. Many migrant workers will have traveled home for the festival, potentially leaving them trapped in their provinces and unable to return to the east coast, where most major manufacturing areas are.
Last edited by Girth; Feb 4th, 2020 at 04:21 AM..
#5  Top Rated Post
Notice, no one is talking about the unrest in Hong Kong the last couple of weeks.
Well the Coronavirus is spreading like wildfire. Soon all of China will have it.
Quote: Originally Posted by Girth View Post

Well the Coronavirus is spreading like wildfire. Soon all of China will have it.

Thank You GOD.. now send some Chinese to Iran.

Quote: Originally Posted by Girth View Post

Well the Coronavirus is spreading like wildfire. Soon all of China will have it.

What unrest, view photo above
Here’s the Growing COVID-19 Death Toll in One Chilling Graph