Any public or government official, who withholds essential information relating to the lethality or virulence of this virus, including case-studies that could aid in the mitigation of transmission risks or in the development of a vaccine or effective treatment, should be arrested for culpable endangerment and charged with crimes against humanity.
Chinese scientists knew about the coronavirus and its deadly effects as early as December — but were ordered by government officials to suppress the evidence, according to a report. In late December, several genomics companies tested samples from sick patients in Wuhan — the center of the coronavirus outbreak — and noticed alarming similarities between their illnesses and the 2002 SARS virus, the Sunday Times of London reported, citing Chinese business news site Caixin Global.
The researchers alerted Beijing of their findings — and on Jan. 3, received a gag order from China’s National Health Commission, with instructions to destroy the samples. Rather than hunkering down to contain the virus, Wuhan officials went ahead with their annual potluck dinner for 40,000 families. The alleged cover-up continued when representatives from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention visited Wuhan Jan. 8, where officials intentionally withheld information that hospital workers had been infected by patients — a telltale sign of contagion. News of the virus’ highly contagious nature didn’t surface publicly until Jan. 20. Wuhan was locked down and a mass quarantine ordered three days later. –NY Post
More Australians returning from Iran test positive: A man in his 40s and a woman in her 50s who recently returned from Iran on separate flights have become New South Wales’s fifth and sixth cases of coronavirus. Iran has seen a spike in infections and on Saturday the Federal Government imposed a travel ban on foreign nationals traveling from Iran to Australia. The man returned from Iran on February 22, developed symptoms two days later, was tested on February 28 and his diagnosis was confirmed a day later. The woman, meanwhile, returned on February 23 and was tested on the 29th, with NSW Health confirming the diagnosis on Sunday. She flew in on Qatar Airways flight QR908, which was scheduled to touch down in Sydney last Sunday at 6:45pm, and NSW Health is urging anyone on that flight to be on the lookout for symptoms.
“If symptoms develop, people who were on that flight should isolate themselves straight away and contact their GP or local emergency department,” a statement read. “The local public health unit is identifying and contacting people who have been in close contact with the case, in accordance with national guidelines. Because the woman’s symptoms began within 24 hours of arriving in Sydney, people who were sitting close to her on her flight will be followed up and asked to self-isolate.” Another man in his 50s who was also under investigation for possible COVID-19 in NSW is “unlikely to have the virus,” according to NSW Health, but further testing is being conducted as a precaution. The woman is one of four cases in Australia to have come from Iran, including a Gold Coast beautician who tested positive late on Friday, sparking fears that dozens of others may have been infected. New Zealand’s first case also came from someone who had been in Iran. –ABC.net