Did China try to cover up COVID-19 outbreak? | Updated: 2020-06-20 11:10

Rumor: China tried to cover up COVID-19, resulting in its spread across the world.


- The Chinese government adopted the most comprehensive, stringent and thorough measures in the shortest possible time. The infections were largely kept within Wuhan with the chain of transmission effectively cut off.

- On 9 May, 2020, researchers from Yale University and the Jinan University found in a joint study that the measures China has taken, including city lockdown, closed management of communities, quarantine and family outdoor restrictions, have significantly decreased the virus transmission rate. Thanks to these measures, the spread of the virus was effectively curbed in mid-February. China's national and provincial public health measures may have prevented over 1.4 million infections and 56,000 deaths outside Hubei province by 29 February. A report published by the journal Science estimated that China's rigorous measures resulted in about 700,000 fewer infections, or 96% of cases.

- On 25 February, 2020, the China-WHO Joint Mission consisting of 25 Chinese and international experts elaborated on the response measures taken by China and their effectiveness at a press conference in Geneva. The Mission pointed out that the usual epidemiological trajectory would be a surge in cases following an outbreak like COVID-19. China, with its robust intervention, significantly bent the curve. The Chinese people, with their resilience and sacrifice, have remarkably slowed the spread of the virus and won a precious window of opportunity for the world.

- On 23 January, 2020, when Wuhan went into lockdown, the US counted only one confirmed case. On 2 February, when the US shut down its border to China, its official case count was merely eleven. According to news reports, statistics from countries including Canada, France, Russia, Australia, Singapore and Japan indicate that most of the cases in their countries did not come from China.

- As Governor Cuomo of the State of New York pointed out, a research by the Northeast University of the US shows that the first strain of the novel coronavirus entered his state not from China. As reported by the New York Times, many US experts have confirmed that Asia was not the main source of the outbreak in New York. Canada's provincial data also suggest that the country's early coronavirus cases came from American travelers.

- On 21 May, 2020, Dr. Pavan K. Bhatraju from the the Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington published a paper on the New England Journal of Medicine involving 24 severe cases in nine medical facilities in Seattle between 24 February and 9 March. None of the patients had recently traveled to China, the ROK, Italy or Iran, or had known exposure to a returning traveler. The source of infection in those cases was unidentifiable.

- A report released on 8 June by Oxford, Edinburgh University and Cog-UK, an academic research organization, detected at least 1,356 independent transmission lineages based on more than 20,000 genome sequencing in the UK. Only 0.08% of the transmissions could be traced to China, an impact almost negligible. The report found that the contribution of China and other Asian countries to the number of importations in the UK was "very small".

- A recent NYT article "Why Is the United States Exporting Coronavirus?" pointed out that the US, with the largest number of coronavirus cases in the world, is continuing to deport thousands of illegal immigrants, many infected with the coronavirus. In late April, the government of Guatemala reported that nearly a fifth of the country's coronavirus cases were linked to deportees from the US. For instance, 71 of the 76 deportees on one flight tested positive.

Please feel free to contact us by sending your questions to or commenting on China Daily app. We will ask experts to answer them.

Editor's picks
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349