Leaked documents expose China's mishandling at the beginning of the Corona spread
The American (CNN) network revealed documents it described as leaked, in which it was stated that China mishandled the early stages of the Corona virus outbreak.
The network stated that the Chinese authorities announced on February 10 that 2,478 new confirmed cases of infection with the virus had been recorded, noting that the official documents circulating internally showed that this was only part of the picture.
In a report bearing the phrase "an internal document, please keep confidentiality", local health authorities in Hubei Province, where the virus was first discovered, listed a total of 5,918 newly discovered cases on February 10, more than double the official confirmed number, according to American Network.
The previously undisclosed number comes within a series of information that has been disclosed in 117 pages of leaked documents from the Hubei County Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which have been shared with and verified with "CNN".
The Chinese government has insisted on rejecting the accusations made by the United States and other Western governments that it intentionally concealed information related to the virus.
The documents, covering the period between October 2019 and April 2020, reveal what appears to be an inflexible healthcare system restricted by bureaucracy from upper to lower levels, and strict procedures that were not equipped to deal with the emerging crisis.
One of the most surprising data points relates to the slow pace with which domestic Covid-19 patients have been diagnosed.
A report in those documents dating back to early March indicates that the average time between the onset of symptoms and a confirmed diagnosis was 23.3 days.
CNN contacted the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Health Commission, as well as the Hubei Health Committee, which oversees the provincial CDC, for comment on the findings that were disclosed in the documents, but did not receive any response.
"It was clear that they made mistakes, and not only the mistakes that happen when you deal with a new virus, but also bureaucratic and politically motivated mistakes in how they deal with it," said Yanchung Huang, a public health expert at the independent US Foundation (Council on Foreign Relations).