New revelations about how China mismanaged the coronavirus when it initially emerged in the city of Wuhan, as well as allegations that authorities silenced voices raising concerns in an attempt to cover up the risk of the virus are brought to light in a documentary that will be broadcast on ITV entitled “Outbreak: The Virus That Shook The World”.
In it, Chinese doctors have been secretly videotaped admitting that they knew how dangerous the coronavirus was when it started “destroying Uhan”, but “they were asked to lie about it”.
Medical professionals in the Chinese metropolis say they knew about the virus deaths as early as December 2019, but it was mid-January when China first informed the World Health Organization of a death.
They also realised that the virus was transmitted between humans, but in hospitals, they were instructed “not to tell the truth”, while calls for the cancellation of New Year’s celebrations were rejected because the authorities wanted to “present a harmonious and prosperous society”.
The new revelations come amid mounting pressure on China, as a WHO commission on Monday said Beijing had responded late to the outbreak, with the United States claiming evidence last week that the virus could have leaked from a Wuhan laboratory.
China first briefed the WHO on 27 cases of the then-unknown disease on December 31, 2019, without reporting any deaths by mid-January.
However, Chinese medical practitioners say they had known since then that the virus was deadly.
One doctor said: “In fact, in late December or early January, a relative of someone I know died from the virus. “Many of those who lived with him were also infected, including people I know.”
As of January 12, the WHO said there were “no clear indications of human-to-human transmission”, adding that it had “received the necessary clarifications on the quality” of China’s response.
According to another testimony, doctors who attended a meeting at a Wuhan hospital were “informed not to speak” about the true nature of the transmission.
By January 21, when the WHO released its first report on the situation, the virus had infected at least 278 people in China and spread to three other countries.
Doctors also say authorities were aware of the dangers of New Year’s Eve celebrations, realising that travel and overcrowding could “accelerate the spread of the virus”.
“People suggested at the city level that events and celebrations should not go ahead, but they did because these events would present a harmonious and prosperous society,” the documentary said.
At the same time, Sir Paul Nurse, a virologist at the Francis Crick Institute in London, said the outbreak from China to the rest of the world was “like a forest fire inside Australia”.
The shocking revelations also raise another serious question concerning the coverage by the global media of the outbreak. There were very few efforts to challenge, or at least raise any questions about the official narratives being presented to the public by either the World Health Organisation or the Chinese authorities.
Whenever anyone challenged the mainstream narrative they were promptly dismissed by being labelled as conspiracy theorists or ‘deniers’.