China Accused of ‘Hush-Hush’ Campaign as WHO Visits Wuhan.
Residents of Wuhan that had friends and relatives die in the first wave of Covid-19 have said that Chinese officials are silencing them as the WHO (World Health Organisation) visits the city in an attempt to locate the epicentre of the outbreak.
Relatives of Wuhan’s coronavirus dead said Chinese authorities have deleted their social media group and are constantly pressuring them to keep quiet while a World Health Organization team is in the city to investigate the pandemic’s origins.
It is understood that scores of relatives have now banded together online in a shared quest for accountability from Wuhan officials who they blame for mishandling the outbreak that tore through the city one year ago, killing thousands.
The effort has thus far been thwarted by the official obstruction, monitoring of social media groups and intimidation, say next-of-kin. The long-awaited probe comes after months of negotiations between the WHO and Beijing.
A group of 10 scientists are set to interview people from research institutes, hospitals and the seafood market linked to the initial outbreak. Covid-19 was first detected in Wuhan in central China in late 2019. The team’s arrival coincides with a resurgence of new coronavirus cases in the north of the country, while life in Wuhan is relatively back to normal.
They will soon begin their research, which will rely upon samples and evidence provided by Chinese officials, as they had to embark on a 14 day isolation period on arrival.
Team leader Peter Ben Embarek said that just before the trip that it “could be a very long journey before we get a full understanding of what happened”. “I don’t think we will have clear answers after this initial mission, but we will be on the way,” he said.
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