In China, you can go to jail for Criticizing Beijing’s Coronavirus response
Chinese authorities are cracking down on negative media coverage and social media comments about the coronavirus outbreak, threatening anyone who breaches their rules with many years in jail.
The government authorities even issued an order for an article that looked at the possible negative impact of the outbreak on China’s economy. And indeed, today - the World Health Organization declared coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization was effusive in its praise of the Chinese government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. These efforts include arresting dozens of social media users who spread “false information without verification.”
One of those arrested turned out to be a doctor to contain the virus who shared information about the unknown illness with a private WeChat group. The doctor, who was forced to sign a document saying he would abide by the law, has since been infected with the coronavirus and remains in a critical condition.
China’s huge online censorship system, known as the Great Firewall, is also censoring any information the government deems to be “rumor.”
Examples of this include posts by families of infected people seeking help, by people living in quarantined cities documenting their daily life, and by those criticizing the government’s handling of the crisis.
In a bid to make sure people don’t even try and spread such “rumors” on Chinese social media, the government announced this week that anyone who tries to "disrupt social order" by posting on social media information from sources other than state-run media, will face between three and seven years in jail.
The capital of China, on alert after the discovery of the first cases of COVID-19 in the last two months
Beijing closed two markets on Friday and postponed resumption of primary school classes following the discovery of three new cases of COVID-19 in the city after two months in which no new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the Chinese capital.
The first country affected by the new coronavirus at the end of last year, China has meanwhile managed to slow down the epidemic considerably, with only a few new cases of disease being reported daily in recent weeks, most of them among people returning from abroad.
But a case of COVID-19 of unknown origin was confirmed in Beijing on Thursday, followed by two more on Friday. The last case of COVID-19 confirmed before them dates from mid-April. From the beginning of the epidemic until then, a total of 597 cases of COVID-19 and 9 deaths have been confirmed in Beijing, agerpres.ro reports.
The last two contaminated people are employees of the Meat Research Center. One of them had recently visited the eastern city of Qingdao. Two markets in Beijing where these two people were were completely or partially closed on Friday and will be disinfected.
Authorities also decided to postpone the resumption of schooling for three primary classes until an indefinite date, after it was initially agreed that schools would reopen on Monday. Pupils in the Chinese capital have gradually returned to school since the end of April, after three months of forced vacation and distance learning.
China announced the end of the coronavirus epidemic
Chinese authorities have announced the end of the coronavirus epidemic in the country. This was announced at a briefing by the official representative of the State Committee for Health of the People's Republic of China, Mi Feng.
Feng said that as of March 28, the number of confirmed cases of infection throughout the country was less than three thousand. Thus, the spread of infection in China was stopped.
According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University (USA), the total number of cases of coronavirus infection in China is just over 82 thousand. 75.5 thousand people recovered, 3.3 thousand died. Now in the first place in the world in the number of cases of coronavirus - the United States. Almost 125 thousand infected were detected there.
On March 22, it was reported that several tens of thousands of coronavirus infected in China were not included in official statistics due to the absence of symptoms. This was written by the local press with reference to closed government data. Thus, according to reporters, the number of cases in China can reach 125 thousand.
In the rest in the world, the number of infections are growing day by day, reaching over 700.000 cases with 32,144 deaths. Out of those infected, 25,423 are in either serious or critical condition. Italy has been the worst country affected, with 10,023 confirmed deaths followed by Spain, with 6,528 cases.
A small island nation in the Indian Ocean, Comoros, has given China a gift of €100 to help in the fight against the coronavirus. While Dr Ahamada Msa M'liva, who leads the delegation acknowledged that this might not be enough, he argues that every little helps.
“We know the capacities and the means of China, but by this gesture, the association wanted to show to the Chinese people how much the Comorians feel concerned,” Dr M'liva said.
He also praised the Chinese authorities for the communication and cooperation with international organizations fighting the coronavirus outbreak, which he described as a “complex and painful ordeal.”
The gift-giving ceremony took place in the country’s capital Moroni in early January but has only been reported to media in recent days.
The coronavirus death toll in China have passed the mark of 1,300, with roughly 43,000 people infected worldwide. So far, most of the deaths took place in Mainland China and no cure has been found. There are reports that many travelers are canceling their trip to Asia following the outbreak and a number of companies have pulled out of the biggest Mobile Wold Conference.
China seems to be hit by a new wave of coronavirus. People in the northeast of the country can only leave the house for strictly necessary shopping. This time it would be a form of the virus that has mutated. The symptoms of the infection appear later and the disease is more difficult to cure. Authorities imposed containment measures on the affected area.
Chinese officials have imposed quarantine restrictions on two cities in northeast China's Jilin province. Jilin is part of a larger province in the Dongbei region - home to more than 100 million people. Health authorities have raised the alert in the area, writes express.co.uk.
About 40,000 residents of Jilin and Shulan were tested for coronavirus after officials were alerted to a possible new outbreak.
In Jilin, authorities stopped all major transport links to and from neighboring cities until further notice. In Shulan, all villages and residential complexes were closed after a similar outbreak of COVID-19 cases last week.
Residents are allowed to leave their homes only for essential reasons, but not more than two hours, once every two days. However, delivery services have been largely shut down, and anti-fever drugs are banned from pharmacies to prevent people from hiding their symptoms.
Schools, public places and public transport have been closed. Children can only play outside if they wear masks, and health care workers have returned to protective equipment, writes Bloomberg.
Strict measures have raised concerns, as people believed the nation's worst epidemic was over. The fear spread to nearby areas, although no cases have been officially reported in those places.
The virus in the new outbreak has mutated
The new virus that hit northeast China is behaving differently from the one in Wuhan, and researchers say it has undergone mutations. Patients in China's new outbreaks appear to be carrying the virus for a longer period of time and need a longer recovery time. In addition, the symptoms of the disease are felt more than two weeks after infection, say Chinese specialists, which makes it difficult to detect new cases.
However, it seems that patients rarely have a fever, and the virus affects only the lungs, not the other organs as is the case with the form discovered in Wuhan. Moreover, it is believed that the new form of coronavirus is actually exported from abroad, the analysis of the strain of the new form of the virus resembling that of Russia.
China may be able to launch a vaccine against SARS-Cov-2 by the end of the year, a Chinese government agency announced on social media on Saturday.
The vaccine - developed by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products and the Institute of Virology - was administered to more than 2,000 people in phase 2 clinical trials, the Public Asset Management and Supervision Commission (SASAC) said.
According to a message dated May 29, broadcast on the Chinese social network WeChat, the vaccine could be marketed as early as the end of this year or at the beginning of 2021.
The two institutes that developed the vaccine have links to the Sinopharm pharmaceutical group, which in turn is controlled by SASAC.
According to SASAC, the Beijing Institute of Biological Products is able to produce 100-120 million doses per year.
Five vaccines are currently being tested on humans in China.