In a report released during the last hours, the organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) shows how, without the control and censorship imposed by the authorities of the Chinese regime, the local media could have informed the public – the main victim – much earlier about the seriousness of the coronavirus epidemic, thus saved thousands of lives and perhaps avoided the current pandemic.
In an analysis published March 13, researchers at the Southampton University they suggest that the number of COVID-19 cases in China could have been reduced by 86% if the first measures, taken on January 20, had been implemented two weeks earlier. Based on what happened in the first days of the crisis, RSF It highlights that without the control and censorship imposed by the authorities, the Chinese media would have informed the public long before the seriousness of the epidemic, saved thousands of lives and possibly avoided the current pandemic.
For example, Beijing It forced the social network WeChat – the Chinese WhatsApp controlled by the regime – to suppress keywords that alluded to the outbreak of the flu at a time when the Government informed the World Health Organization (WHO) on the appearance of pneumonia of unknown origin. Indeed, the origin had already been identified. The authorities took valuable weeks to transmit the information about the new virus and the significant number of cases related to the Wuhan market. “If the authorities had not hidden from the media the existence of an outbreak linked to a very popular market, the public would have stopped visiting this place long before its official closure, on January 1“He points out RSF.
The censorship was such that it even had as its first victims Chinese doctors and nurses who wanted to alert the population and those responsible for the regime’s health system about a new virus similar to SARS, that annihilated people with pneumonia. To the renowned case of doctor Li Wenliang, for example the doctor’s are added Lu Xiaohong, head of gastroenterology at Wuhan City Hospital, who since December 25! He could have publicized his suspicions that the virus could be transmitted between humans.
“If the international media had had full access to the information that the Chinese authorities had on the scale of the epidemic before January 13, it is likely that the international community would have evaluated the crisis and anticipated it better, reducing the risk that the crisis would epidemic spreading outside of China and possibly preventing its transformation into a pandemic“Concludes the NGO.
Reporters Without Borders He listed the most sensitive episodes that marked the blocking of information by Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to its population, before and during the expansion of the outbreak of COVID-19. Having offered accurate information without concealment, the population of Wuhan first and then the rest of the world would have taken other kinds of measures. Especially the scientific community, which received several days overdue key data on how the new Chinese strain was composed.
The Chinese press may have reported the chilling results of a pandemic drill.
The John Hopkins Center for Health Safety, in association with the World Economic Forum and the Foundation Bill Y Melinda gates, performs a pandemic drill of coronavirus on October 18, 2019 and alerts the international community to the chilling results: 65 million deaths in 18 months. If the china internet do not were isolated by an elaborate system of electronic censorship and the media were not forced to follow the instructions of the Communist Party, the public and the authorities would certainly have been interested in this information from the United States., which echoed the epidemic of SARS 2003 (severe acute respiratory syndrome). SARS infected 8,000 people and caused more than 800 deaths, mainly in China.
Wuhan City authorities could have reportedly told reporters.
One month after the first documented case, the city of Wuhan already has 60 patients with unknown SARS-like pneumonia; several of them have frequented the fish market of Huanan. In spite of the situation, the authorities do not consider it convenient to communicate this information to the media. If the authorities had not hidden from the media the existence of an outbreak linked to a very popular market, the public would have stopped visiting this place long before its official closure, on January 1.
Dr. Lu Xiaohong could have expressed his fears to the press.
On December 25, the doctor Lu Xiaohong, head of gastroenterology at Wuhan City Hospital No. 5, begins to know cases of infection that affect medical personnel and suspects from the first week of January that the infection can be transmitted between humans. If the sources of journalists in China did not expose themselves to severe penalties – ranging from a professional reprimand to prison terms – the doctor Lu Xiaohong he would have assumed the responsibility of alerting the media, forcing the authorities to take action, which did not happen until three weeks later.
The media reportedly collected the early warning from the complainants.
The director of the emergency department of the Wuhan Central Hospital, Ai Fen, and a group of doctors issue an alert about a “SARS-like coronavirus” Eight of them, including the doctor Li Wenliang, who later died of the disease, will be detained by the police of Wuhan on January 3 for circulating “false rumors” If the press and social networks had been able to freely disseminate the information provided by the complainants on December 30, the public would have realized the danger and it would have pressured the authorities to take measures to limit the spread of the virus.
Social media reportedly broadcast the official alert in China.
China officially alerts the World Health Organization (WHO) on December 31, but at the same time forces WeChat discussion platform to censor a large number of keywords that refer to the epidemic. Uncensored, the social network WeChat, which has a billion active users in Chinathere could be allowed journalists to broadcast reports and advice of precaution that will contribute to better compliance with the standards recommended by the health authorities.
Scientific means would have previously sequenced the coronavirus genome.
The teacher’s team Zhang Yongzhen in the Shanghai Clinical Public Health Center He manages to sequence the virus on January 5, but authorities appear reluctant to make the genome public. On January 11, the day China confirms its first death from the virus, researchers leak information on open source platforms, resulting in the punitive closure of their laboratory. If the Chinese authorities were transparent, they would have immediately reported the coronavirus genome sequence to the scientific media., saving the international community precious time in its research for vaccine development.
The international community would have anticipated the risk of a pandemic.
It is reported in Thailand of the first case of infection by coronavirus outside China, a tourist from Wuhan. If the international media had had full access to the information that the Chinese authorities had on the scale of the epidemic before January 13, it is likely that the international community would have evaluated the crisis and anticipated it better, reducing the risk that the crisis would epidemic will spread outside of China and possibly avoiding its transformation into a pandemic.