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Wuhan Virus- China’s Culpability- Part II

Paper No. 6561                            Dated  12-April 2020
By Dr. S. Chandrasekharan.
As the World including India is still struggling to contain the deadly Virus officially named Covid-19, more and more reports are forthcoming about China’s initial efforts to suppress the information and its efforts to silence the whistle blowers.  Those people who made bold to criticise the handling of the Virus Infection and its Spread within are said to be missing!
It is an irony that while most other countries have assessed that the “curve has not flattened”, China has lifted its lock down in Wuhan City. 
It is still not established whether the source of the virus has come from the wet market of Wuhan or elsewhere. Truth cannot be suppressed indefinitely.  It will be known sooner or later.
 What made the Chinese suppress the information so long until it became no longer possible to do so? It is still a mystery.
There is assessment that has gone viral  that at the end of it all, it is China that will benefit most! This could be true.
 China has a history of bungling in dealing with the spread of Virus infections.  Their role in the 2002 and 2003 SARs are well known. It has come to light that way back in 2004, a  deadly SARS virus had spread due to a leak from a Chinese Lab killing one person and infecting nine others.  Five Senior Officials were fired after the incident. In early 2019, in a Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute 65 Lab workers were infected with brucellosis.
There were reports, also mentioned in our site that there were findings that the earlier SARS kind of virus had originated from the Bats.  A Lancet Paper declares that Bats were never sold in the “Wet Market” and the first 19 cases that occurred in Wuhan had no connection to the market at all.
On March 3rd China is said to have refused permission for a team from US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention to visit Wuhan but two weeks later it allowed a “pliable” WHO team to visit.
Delay in Informing the World of the Details of the Virus though known and Suppressing Information.
 Test Results from multiple Labs in December 2019 suggested that there had been an outbreak of a new virus, These were sequenced in Chinese Labs and found to be similar to SARS weeks before Officials publicly identified it as the cause of the mysterious illness encountered in Wuhan.
 It is also said (Caixin Global) that those Labs that sequenced the Corona Virus were ordered by Chinese officials to hand over or destroy the samples and not release the findings.
 The Mayor of Wuhan Zhou Xienwang admitted that about 5 million people had already eft Wuhan bbefore the incidence of Virus was officially announced.
Professor Richard Ebright of Rutger University’s Waksman Institute of biology, does think that it is possible that the Covid-19 started as an accidental leak from a lab with minimal protection.
On 25th December, the medical staff at Wuhan Central hospital were quarantined for pneumonia like symptoms. But from December to mid Jan, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission and other Chinese authorities kept saying that there was no evidence of Virus getting transferred from person to person.  Thus some vital time was lost.
 It has now come to light according to South China Morning Post (Zhuang Pinghui) that a look at the samples of patients with flu like symptoms had uncovered signs of Corona Virus in a wider community in early January itself much before the public was even told of the Pathogen as contagious.
It is now known that  after the 2003 SARs Outbreak, China promised to ban its “Wet Markets” where exotic animals are slaughtered for food.  But this was never done.  What is more, the wet market in Wuhan has reportedly been reopened after the Wuhan lock down was lifted!
Internal Opposition from the Public on Supression of Vital Facts on the Virus:
It is now known that hundreds of Chinese led by Academics had signed a petition on line calling on the national legislature to protect Citizen’s right to freedom of speech. There were five demands 1.  Protect People’s right to Freedom of Expression.  2.  Discuss the issue of the incidence of Virus at the NPC. 3.  Make Feb. 6 the day, the well known Doctor Li Wenliang who was first reprimanded and later succumbed to the virus himslef as the national day for free speech. 4.  Ensure that no one is punished, threatened, interrogated, censored or locked up for their speech, civil assembly letters or by any other method of communication and 5. To give equitable treatment such as medical care to people from Wuhan and Hubei Province.  
A few of the citizens who protested and criticised the action of the Government and the Party leaders hanve since been silenced and their whereabouts are not known.  These include
1.  Ren Zhiqiang, an outspoken property dealer and Chairman of the Huayuan Property and Real Estate Developer.  Though he did not name the Chinese President, he blamed the Government for silencing the whistle blowers and trying to conceal the outbreak.
2.  Xu Zhiyong- He released a letter in social circles where he accused President Xi of a cover up and calling upon him to step down. He was detained soon after and his whereabouts are nor known.
3.  Xu Zhangmun, a law Professor published to the effect that that epidemic had revealed the rotten core of the Government.  He is missing again.
4.  Dr. Ai Fen, Director of Emergency at tge Wuhan Central Hospital was reprimanded for alerting her Superiors and Colleagues of the incidence of SARS like Virus seen in patients in December.  It is said that she was summoned by the Head of Hospital’s Inspection Committee and formally rebuked for spreading rumours and harming stability!.  She is also missing since then.  Her Staff were forbidden from passing messages or images relating to the Virus.
China is Culpable:
The World today is paying heavily for China’s deliberate attempts first to conceal and later delaying and misleading the people.  
In this, the WHO which is being derisively called the Wuhan Health Organization has been complicit in going along with China.  The WHO’s stance has been suspiciouis from the beginning.  It was only on January 11th that it mentioned that Wuhan’s wet market is the source of the epidemic.  As late as Jan. 14 the WHO was echoing the Chinese Health officials claiming that there has been no human transmission of the Virus within the country yet
The death toll may soon reach 100,000 and over a million are affected!