Staff sell masks at a Yifeng Pharmacy in Wuhan, Chin, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. Pharmacies in Wuhan are restricting customers to buying one mask at a time amid high demand and worries over an outbreak of a new coronavirus. The number of cases of the new virus has risen over 400 in China and the death toll to 9, Chinese health authorities said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Dake Kang)
We reported on how China allegedly covered-up information about the Wuhan virus, from stopping labs and doctors from reporting what was happening to telling the WHO that the virus wasn’t contagious in humans.
Now a study by the University of Southhampton is indicating that had China taken measures earlier to address the virus that they could have prevented about 95 per cent of the infections that have now spread throughout the world.
But China only began to take real actions in January, weeks after the virus had been discovered and after they tried to silence people about it. It was that failure of action that allowed it to be distributed all over the world.
Coronavirus cases could have been reduced by 66 per cent if the measures were taken a week earlier, the study suggested, or by 86 per cent if action began two weeks earlier. If action was taken three weeks later, then the situation could have worsened 18-fold.
Most efforts to tackle the outbreak took place in late January, weeks after Wuhan ophthalmologist Dr Li Wenliang tried to warn about the mystery disease on December 30. He was among eight people who were punished by police on January 1 for spreading “rumours” about the virus.
The Public Security Bureau made Li sign a letter stating that he had made “false comments” and had “severely disturbed the social order.” He died last month of the disease, aged 34, prompting widespread outrage in China.
According to the New York Times, China also ignored offers of help in January from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.
China is now claiming their cases have leveled off but it’s hard to know if that’s true, given the past history.
What we have seen in other areas like Taiwan show is that swift travel bans and quarantines appear to have been helpful, the types of measures we are employing. As a result, even given their close proximity to China, Taiwan has only 100 cases. Hence the reason we’re seeing for the heavy push for social distancing, travel bans and quarantining those exposed.
But when this is all over, there needs to be a heavy reckoning with the CCP for putting the world through this, not only for all the people who are getting ill or dying but for the harm to the world’s economy that has happened as a result.