China Finally Welcomes WHO Investigators to Track the Origin of COVID-19

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WHO announced investigations on the origin of COVID-19 are to begin in January. Previously, China had opposed inquiries made by the WHO to determine where the pandemic originated.

Wuhan, the epicentre of the pandemic faced a terrible death toll at the start of the outbreak. The province went into lockdown in late January after 17 people died and 400 got infected by the virus.

However, Wuhan is currently seeing better days after restrictions got lifted. The transmission of the virus has been on the low since mid-May. 

Unsung Heroes who Battled COVID-19 in China

In December 2019, Dr Li Wenliang diagnosed a unique type of SARS from a patient and spoke about it to his colleagues. His diagnosis came after Wuhan CDC had sounded an alarm on the increase in the number of pneumonia cases across local hospitals within the province. 

Dr Wenliang’s findings made rounds across the state despite him calling for discretion among the people he had told. Social media platforms added more fuel to the fire spreading the rumours across China as a whole. 

The police department in Wuhan admonished the doctor while summoning him for spreading rumours on the internet about the unconfirmed virus outbreak. He died in February after exhibiting symptoms similar to COVID-19.

Journalist Fang Bin recorded a video showing people who had passed away after contracting the deadly virus. ” I saw three corpses a while ago. Now I am recounting eight corpses,” he said while showing the lifeless bodies in bags. The police arrested him after he reported about the deaths. Since being detained, no one has seen him to date. Several people who raised awareness on the pandemic have either disappeared or died. 

WHO Investigation: Why Now not Then

At the start of the outbreak, China health officials were downplaying how much COVID-19 was a threat. They stated that there was no need to declare a global health emergency and impose movement restriction laws. 

Earlier this year, Chinese government officials and the WHO health experts were debating whether the virus can get transmitted from person to person. The President of China Xi Jin and his administration were against impulsive actions and measures to curb the spread of the disease. 

China’s health administration received criticism for not taking the virus seriously in addition to not allowing thorough investigation and control immediately COVID-19 started spreading. 

The government of China faced accusations of too much bureaucracy when handling COVID-19, as many say it could have helped in reducing deaths and infections. Health experts say China should have acted accordingly by telling WHO the disease was a potential danger to the world.