In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping talks by video with patients and medical workers at the Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei Province, Tuesday, March 10, 2020. China’s president visited the center of the global virus outbreak Tuesday as Italy began a sweeping nationwide travel ban and people worldwide braced for the possibility of recession. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. (Xie Huanchi/Xinhua via AP)
China has been touting its recovery from the virus, claiming that its numbers have leveled off.
But reports out of China are suggesting the “recovery” may not be all it’s cracked up to be.
There were reports from whistleblowers and residents that there was a bit of a ruse going on to make things appear as if they were going back to normal. They said that businesses were keeping the lights and electricity on and falsifying attendance logs in order to not annoy local officials. Also, residents can be seen shouting at visiting leaders from the apartments where they’re being quarantined — “Fake, it’s all fake.” That report was about ten days ago.
Now there’s another report, this from Kyodo News that the number of patients in Wuhan might have been manipulated according to a local whistleblower doctor.
But the doctor, who works at a quarantine facility, said the government tally “cannot be trusted.”
The number of patients currently undergoing treatment is deliberately being reduced in an effort to show the Xi government’s success in combatting the epidemic, he said.
The doctor, in his 40s, whose responsibilities include determining whether a patient is discharged from a hospital expressed strong concerns that if the truth remains hidden from the public, another outbreak could occur.
The doctor said that the patients were not meeting the requirement to test negative twice and be cleared of pneumonia before being released, that patients were being released still with signs of pneumonia at the discretion of a “specialist” from their epidemic prevention and control organization.
According to the doctor, “a mass release of infected patients began.” That way the number of active cases would drop.
Also, patient interviews with those exhibiting symptoms such as fever were simplified, and blood tests to detect antibodies produced during infection were discontinued. As a result, “suspected patients were released back into society,” he said.
Given the prior lies that China has told, it’s easy to believe these reports and hard not to doubt the official Chinese government claims. It probably has recovered to a degree. But it’s also likely they know they are being looked at by the world and want to start deflecting the attention and the blame elsewhere, as we’ve already seen. If patients are released or suspected patients aren’t confirmed, then their numbers of cases will drop. But that doesn’t mean it’s gone away.