China’s National Health Commission claimed on Wednesday the rate of infection for the new deadly coronavirus originating in central Wuhan city is miraculously declining, directly contradicting estimates by public health experts the spread will continue to accelerate and peak only after a few months and finally begin declining in the summer.
Researchers at Northeastern University and the University of Hong Kong issued separate statements Tuesday predicting the outbreak will take at the very least months to subside. Both estimated the real number of people infected by the virus is in the tens of thousands, a far cry from the 6,151 cases worldwide that the Chinese Communist Party and World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed at the end of Wednesday.
The Global Times, a Chinese state propaganda outlet, claimed on Wednesday authorities had found a “gleam of hope” in ten provinces that documented a slower rate of infection than they had the day before. It notably included Hong Kong and Macau, autonomous regions that have imposed different measures from those in China, and Taiwan, a sovereign state with no ties to Beijing, in its count of “provinces” that saw a decline in transmission.
The Global Times also claimed the number of cases documented on Tuesday in Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, was lower than the number of cases on Monday.
“On January 28, 840 new cases of pneumonia were reported in Hubei province. On the 27th, however, there were 1,291 newly reported cases,” the Times claimed.
The Times also alleged 103 people had made full recoveries from carrying the coronavirus.
At press time, Chinese authorities have documented 6,061 cases of coronavirus infection within its borders. Of those, 132 people have died, all within China. Scientists contend, however, that this number is significantly smaller than the actual number of people infected. Northeastern University estimates suggest that as many as 25,000 people are currently infected within China alone. University of Hong Kong’s medical school nearly doubled that amount, revealing that its mathematical estimates reveal as many as 44,000 people in China alone are carriers.
Gabriel Leung, head of the Hong Kong University’s medical school, urged world governments to take “draconian measures” to stop the virus from spreading.
Multiple reports from Chinese health workers and potential virus carriers suggest that the reason for such a discrepancy between the Communist Party’s numbers and those of scientists in the free world is that Beijing is deliberately refusing to confirm probable cases. Unnamed sources throughout American and international media within Wuhan say that the city’s hospitals are desperately lacking in testing kits for the new virus and refuse to test individuals that state hospital officials do not approve.
The result has been individuals with fever, coughing, fatigue, and other telltale coronavirus symptoms being turned away and thus not forming part of the official count.
The Global Times itself admitted in an article this week that Wuhan has a severe testing kit shortage, all but confirming these reports.
Other reports of deaths in the city indicate that officials are also refusing to test people already in inpatient case at hospitals with pneumonia. In one prominent case, environmental activist Xu Dapeng died of pneumonia in Wuhan last week, three days after Beijing revealed to the world it had identified a new virus. Doctors refused to test Xu for the virus and documented his passing as a result of an unrelated respiratory illness. Those exposed to Xu, according to sources speaking to Radio Free Asia (RFA), have not been able to procure a test to see if they are carrying the virus.
The Wuhan virus, locals speaking to various international media agree, began spreading in the city of 11 million people in December. The Chinese communist regime alerted the World Health Organization (WHO) to a potential outbreak and shut down a wild meat market suspected of introducing the virus to the public on January 1. It took 20 more days for China to reveal that the outbreak was being caused by a never-bef0re-seen strain of virus, days during which Wuhan government officials hosted a banquet for 130,000 people, placing them all in close quarters and risking contagion.
The new coronavirus is believed to be closely related to the virus responsible for Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), an outbreak of which in China killed nearly 800 people in 2003. Experts believe that the virus jumped from wild game meat into human beings at the Wuhan market and fear that it may continue evolving as it multiplies into new people.
As popular outrage against the Chinese state grows for its mishandling of the viral outbreak, China’s state propaganda wings are increasingly loud about the people’s alleged support for the Party. The Party’s Central Committee published a statement to the Party’s member’s uring them to “organize and mobilize Party organizations, members and officials to join in the frontline battle against the outbreak and transform the Party’s political and organizational strengths and its advantage of close ties with the people into strong political power for epidemic prevention and control.”
“In coordination with health authorities and institutions, all Party committees and leading Party members groups should mobilize and select Party members and officials among medical experts and workers to play a leading role in patient treatment, scientific research and primary-level disease prevention,’ the Central Committee demanded.
Xinhua, the state news agency, published an editorial claiming without evidence unidentified people were criticizing China for the Wuhan government’s decision to lock down the city. While most criticism of the decision to prevent residents from traveling out and travelers from entering has been that it came too late – Wuhan’s mayor revealed that 5 million people left the city immediately before his decree – Xinhua claimed that people concerned with “human rights” oppose the isolation measure.
“Suddenly, accusations that the massive city lockdown in Wuhan is a violation of human rights emerged. But citizens of Wuhan disagree,” Xinhua asserted. It remains unclear who the citizens of Wuhan are disagreeing with, but Xinhua nonetheless applauded them for their “hallmark perseverance and optimism.”