03/12/2020, 10.45
CHINA
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Wuhan doctors: authorities lied about the coronavirus

The government's false information has endangered the lives of millions of people. 230 doctors contracted the infection at the central hospital; four died, including Li Wenliang. Between 12 and 17 January, local officials continued to claim that there was no infection in the city. The official announcement only on January 18. Wuhan quarantined on January 23rd.

 

Rome (AsiaNews) - Doctors from the central hospital of Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic crisis, accuse the Beijing government and local officials of having covered up the truth about the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19). By publishing false information, the regime has endangered the lives of millions of citizens.

The authorities said from the outset that the infection was "controllable" and was not transmitted from person to person. Hundreds of doctors and nurses from the hospital were left in the dark while engaged in treating the sick. And even when they themselves contracted the virus, they could not reveal it, not even to their colleagues.

The hospital saw 230 of its 4,000 doctors contract Covid-19. Li Wenliang, Wuhan's doctor who died on February 7from treating people with the virus, was the first to launch the alert, which cost him a police detention. Since his death, three other colleagues have died: Jiang Xueqing on March 1; Mei Zhongming two days later; and Zhu Heping on March 9th.

The central hospital in Wuhan was the most committed to helping the infected as it is located near the fish market, believed to be the source of the outbreak of the epidemic. In early January, the hospital emergency room was stormed by people with very high fever. Unable to treat all these patients in the infectious disease department, some of them were treated by doctors who were not specialized in infectious diseases, which favored the spread of the disease.

An internal hospital document, published by Caixin, explains that city officials blocked the spread of information about the epidemic, particularly from January 12 to 17, when local officials were engaged in the annual legislative session.

Wuhan's doctors report that on January 12, a public security official prevented them from making the diagnosis public. From that moment on, under official order, the forms relating to infectious diseases could only be filled after "consultations" with specialists indicated by the city and provincial authorities.

According to the district infectious disease control authorities, patients with coronavirus had to be diagnosed with other, milder diseases.

Only on January 16 the city's health officials collected the first samples to be analyzed; the provincial officials collected them up the next day. At the time, the hospital was already treating 48 suspected Covid-19 cases.

Between January 12 and 17, city officials continued to claim that there was no infection in Wuhan. The official outbreak announcement came on January 18. A few days later, on January 23, the city was quarantined.

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