Chinese epidemiologist expressed distrust of the early statistics collected on coronavirus in China. He is sure that the Chinese authorities really did not want to reveal the gravity of the epidemiological situation in Wuhan. How else can one explain the fact that the statistics of morbidity in Wuhan supposedly remained unchanged for ten days?
On Monday, May 18, CNN reported that leading Chinese epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan acknowledged that local authorities concealed data on the first coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. In January, he was highly suspicious of the fact that the number of new infections in Wuhan had not changed for ten days. Together with other medical experts, he went to the city on 18 January to assess what was happening with his own eyes. This helped him to make sure that the real infection statistics were much more deplorable than the official data.
Two days later, on January 20, he was the first to publicly declare that a new virus was spreading from person to person. The Wuhan authorities were hiding this fact at the time. Nanshan asked them to provide real data on coronavirus incidence. And on January 20, Beijing was reluctant to admit that Wuhan had already detected 196 infections – almost five times more than the official statistics.
However, Nanshan is sure that after January 23 the Chinese authorities realized the danger of the global pandemic and began to publish only reliable data.
The issue of trust in Wuhan statistics was raised by the U.S. media – they are sure that the epidemic could have been controlled in its infancy, if not for the inaction of the Chinese authorities. Journalists also suspect that the virus could have been of laboratory origin.
Nanshan reports that Shi Zhengli, chief specialist at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. She says the accusations of laboratory origin of the virus are absolutely groundless as her laboratory does not even have the equipment needed to create artificial viruses. But it’s not so easy to get away from hiding the data. After all, the media have learned that the Chinese government did have good reasons to delay the publication of real statistics.