As the United States braces for the arrival of the Covid-19 novel coronavirus, world governments are scrambling to prepare for what the World Health Organization says is nearly a pandemic. Meanwhile, China appears to have significantly downplayed its coronavirus case numbers in new reports that have surfaced.
Documents leaked this week by The Epoch Times allege that the Chinese government kept real data figures on the total number of coronavirus case numbers in Mainland China hidden, underreporting to news outlets on the severity of the outbreak.
Shandong found to be severely downplaying its number of cases of Covid-19.
In Shandong, a Mainland Chinese province just south of Beijing—across the Yellow Sea from Seoul, South Korea—internal documents obtained by The Epoch Times reveals that the confirmed number of cases in the region are roughly between 1.36 to 52 times greater than the reported numbers.
In one instance, the government reported four new cases of the virus on February 22nd in the region. In the documents, though, records show that 61 patients tested positive on that day. On other days similar data shows that the region underrepresented its total number of new cases. Meanwhile the media continued to report that Hibei was the region most affected by the disease.
China’s Communist Party has failed to control its narrative—now the world suffers the consequences.
Most recently, Chinese President Xi Jinping revealed that the Communist Party has failed not only to contain the virus from spreading, but the information surrounding it in international press. Not only did the country severely downplay the coronavirus case numbers, but it failed to control the narrative surrounding it as new cases pop up around the world.
Xi Jinping’s revelation led to the crash of the Dow Jones, as it symbolized that China’s famed ability to control media narratives have not only failed its reputation, but its people. In just one day, the U.S. stock market tumbled over one thousand points after Xi Jinping committed what The Guardian calls an addition to China’s “shameful list of crimes.”
More than likely, the downplaying of the virus’s spreading was intended to keep Chinese citizens from panicking over the outbreak. Chinese officials urged businesses to resume operation on February 10th after an extension of the Lunar New Year holiday, which saw offices and shops shut down to avoid spreading the virus.
In places like Beijing, the halting of business and day to day work may cause a halt in the global economy. China—which has only recently begun working on building an economic infrastructure to avoid getting stuck in a middle income trap—could trigger a ripple effect around the world if world trade is shut down.
Covid-19 nears ‘pandemic’ level.
As of Tuesday, the coronavirus outbreak has met two of the three criteria for being classified a global pandemic. That is, that it has caused death in addition to sickness, and that it can be transmitted from person to person. Meanwhile the third criteria, person to person transmission on a global scale, gets closer and closer by the day. In the United States, one case of “community spread” coronavirus has been confirmed in Sacramento.
As of Tuesday, there are more than 76,000 coronavirus case numbers within Mainland China. In the United States, only 57 cases have managed to appear, but the numbers are increasing rapidly.
In Italy, cases increase on an almost exponential scale. The country saw a rapid growth rate of positive cases over the weekend as it scrambled to find patient zero. Towns in the country’s north region are experiencing mass closures as dozens of new cases pop up by the day.