China doubles down on Covid-19 narrative as WHO investigation looms – world news

While a team from the World Health Organization (WHO) is preparing to visit China to investigate the origins of Corona 19, Beijing is not only trying to prevent new outbreaks, but also to shape the story of when and where the epidemic began. Strengthened.

China dismissed criticism of the early treatment of the coronavirus, which was first identified in Wuhan city in late 2019, and Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said on Monday that it would welcome the WHO team.

But amid rising geopolitical tensions, experts said investigators would desperately not allow China to scrutinize some of the more sensitive aspects of the outbreak in order to avoid accusations of the virus that killed more than 1.8 million people worldwide.

Yanzhong Huang, senior researcher at the US Council on Foreign Relations, said, “Before this investigation, senior officials on both sides had very polarized opinions on the cause of the outbreak.

“They have to be politically savvy and draw conclusions that are acceptable to all major parties,” he added.

Other countries continue to struggle with the surge in infection, but China aggressively avoided the explosion. After a new incident last week, the city of Shenyang sealed the entire community and demanded that all non-essential workers stay at home.

On Saturday, a senior diplomat Wang Yi praised the anti-epidemic efforts, saying that China not only suppressed domestic infections, but also provided aid to more than 150 countries, saying “it took the lead in building a global defense against treason.”

However, keeping in mind the criticism China faces around the world, Wang has also become a top-ranked official questioning consensus on the origin of Corona 19, showing that “more research” has taken place in several regions.

China is also the only country to claim that Covid-19 could be spread through cold chain imports, and although the WHO has downplayed those risks, it is accusing new outbreaks in Beijing and Dalian of being in contaminated shipments.


China has been accused of delaying its initial response and concealing the virus to further spread.

This topic is still sensitive with only a handful of studies on the origins of Covid-19 open to the public.

However, there were also signs that China was willing to share information contrary to the official picture.

Last week, a study by the China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that blood samples taken from 4.43{74ca91e3bee52d91843c282edd75c0800a88a3d8744a3a1c83b7ba867058fc3c} of Wuhan’s population contained Covid-19 antibodies, which resulted in the city’s infection rate far higher than originally admitted.

However, scientists said China should share its findings suggesting that Corona 19 is circulating domestically long before it was officially confirmed in December 2019.

According to an Italian study, Covid-19 may have been in Europe months before the first official case in China. China’s state-run media used the paper to support the theory that Corona 19 originated abroad and entered China through contaminated frozen food or through foreign athletes participating in the world military competition held in Wuhan in October 2019.

Raina MacIntyre, director of biosecurity research program at Kirby Institute in Australia, said the investigation should derive a “comprehensive global picture of epidemiological cues,” including evidence that Corona 19 existed outside China prior to December 2019. .

But the political problem means there won’t be much room to investigate one hypothesis that the outbreak was caused by a leak from the Wuhan Virus Research Institute, MacIntyre said.

“I think it’s very unlikely that every virus in the lab at the time will be given to the team,” she said. “So I think we will never know the truth.”