China revealed to have delayed releasing coronavirus info despite WHO praises

Chinese President Xi Jinping meeting with the Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO on Jan 29, 2020. (Photo courtesy: AP)

(, Jun04’20) – The World Health Organization (WHO) was lying when it thanked the Chinese government for sharing the genetic map of SARS-cov-2, the virus behind the Covid-19 pandemic, “immediately”, reported the Associated Press Jun 2, citing internal documents, emails and dozens of interviews.

The report reveals that WHO repeatedly praised China’s response in the first stages of what became a global pandemic—but, behind the scenes, its officials were left frustrated by delays in getting their hands on critically important information.

China was reported to have waited for more than a week to release the genetic map of the virus after it was fully decoded by three Chinese labs.

That delay may have stalled the recognition of the virus’ spread to other countries, and likely held back the global development of tests, drugs, and vaccines.

Besides, between the day the full genome was first decoded on Jan 2 and the day the WHO declared a global emergency on Jan 30, the outbreak spread by a factor of 100 to 200 times, the report said, citing retrospective Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention data.

According to the report, the delay was due to strict controls on information and internal competition within China’s public-health system.


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