Desperate Wuhan Residents Denounce China for Hiding Continued Coronavirus Spread

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Residents of Wuhan, China – where the coronavirus pandemic originated – told various media outlets throughout the week that Communist Party-run hospitals were turning away people with coronavirus symptoms and failing to document new cases, allowing Beijing to claim the outbreak in Wuhan was largely over.

Chinese state media celebrated the alleged return to normalcy in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people in central China, on Wednesday, announcing that the Communist Party was allowing public transport buses back on the street and slowly letting businesses re-open (all economic activity in China is controlled by the Communist Party).

“Wuhan, the once hardest-hit city in central China’s Hubei Province during the COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus] outbreak, resumed a total of 117 bus routes starting Wednesday, around 30 percent of the city’s total bus transport capacity, the municipal transport bureau said,” the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The Global Times, another Communist Party propaganda outlet, applauded Wuhan’s Hubei province on Wednesday and called for Beijing to shift “the focus of the prevention and control work toward relapses of domestic cases and increases of imported ones” – meaning focusing on identifying foreigners or Chinese flying in from abroad who are carrying the virus, rather than identifying domestic viral infections.

China had spent most of the past week celebrating not documenting any coronavirus cases in Wuhan until Tuesday, when it revealed that a doctor in the city tested positive for coronavirus. Wuhan officials claimed the doctor was the only documented case in the city that day and that they did not have an explanation for how he or she got infected since no other cases existed in the city.

Reports citing Wuhan locals appear to have the answer: the virus continues to spread throughout the city, but the Chinese Communist Party has simply decided not to test or treat patients with symptoms. Hong Kong broadcaster RTHK quoted several Wuhan residents, speaking anonymously out of fear of arrest or censorship, who said that they had witnessed Wuhan medical staff refusing to test individuals with clear symptoms resembling coronavirus infection.

“Despite claims made by mainland authorities that there have been no new local infections of the coronavirus in Wuhan in the last few days, people there have told RTHK this is simply not the case,” the broadcaster reported on Monday. “They say patients are being turned away from hospitals without testing to back the official data, which one person described as a ‘not medical, but political treatment.'”

Among those speaking to RTHK were a man who said that his mother was suffering from pneumonia, a common severe symptom of coronavirus infection, that developed after hospitals deemed her “cured” of coronavirus but no hospital would treat her.

“He said there is nothing much he can do because he can’t leave his home as a lockdown is still in force, and local health authorities only told him to wait,” RTHK noted.
The broadcaster also cited a relative of a patient at a Wuhan hospital being treated for an unrelated disease saying that she had seen, from her hospital bed, the health workers treating her rejecting people who showed symptoms of coronavirus infections.

On Friday, Radio Free Asia (RFA), a U.S. outlet, published similar concerns from those in Wuhan who say the government has essentially stopped documenting coronavirus cases to be able to say that the outbreak is over.

“There are 60 million people in Hubei, and they have all just been left to live or die without any help,” a Wuhan resident identified as Zhang Ruyi told RFA. “It’s basically down to a person’s immune system.”

The RFA article also cited local reports that as many as 20 people in one Wuhan hospital on one day last week, Wednesday, were showing symptoms of coronavirus infection.

“Some of the people discharged from the temporary hospitals are relapsing and then testing positive after they get home,” a Wuhan resident identified only as Wu noted.

Another, Liu Songyang, protested that it was impossible to know just how much danger Wuhan residents were in, because “we can’t tell whether there are new cases in the hospitals or not.” Liu added certainty that “local officials are sure to be covering up the truth.”

The concerns echoed by these reports do not address the concern of asymptomatic carriers of coronavirus, which may account for as many as 59 percent of cases in Wuhan, according to a recent Chinese study. They also do not reflect concern over the Chinese government’s decision not to count “mild” cases of confirmed coronavirus patients in its official tally beginning in February, meaning that potentially millions of cases went unreported. Both also surfaced in reports this week; Caixin Global cited a Wuhan infectious disease expert in a report Monday who said that the city continued to identify “several or more than a dozen asymptomatic infected individuals” on a daily basis, none of which count towards the official numbers offered to the World Health Organization.

In addition to the WHO, most major world governments are counting on Communist Party numbers to map out their own responses to the virus at home.

“You know, if you watch the trend lines over time, and if you watch them, as you line them up with South Korea, they’re very similar. So, at this point, at this moment, we would believe those data,” Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House’s coronavirus response task force, told Fox News’ Bret Baier last week, responding to if she believed China’s claim that Wuhan was no longer seeing new cases of coronavirus.

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