The documents show health care officials had no comprehension as to the magnitude of the impending disaster. This was confirmed by citizens of the country . Get Morning Report and other email newsletters. Hubei, which lags far behind Beijing, Shanghai and other major Chinese administrative divisions in terms of GDP per capita, was the first region to confront a virus that would go on to confound many of the world’s most powerful countries. At the time, China was celebrating the Lunar New Year holiday, its most important annual holiday. If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware. Thu 03/12 ... “Wuhan is the safest place in China… “It was clear they did make mistakes — and not just mistakes that happen when you’re dealing with a novel virus — also bureaucratic and politically-motivated errors in how they handled it,” said Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, who has written extensively on public health in China. This larger figure was never fully revealed at that time, as China’s accounting system seemed, in the tumult of the early weeks of the pandemic, to downplay the severity of the outbreak. In the bottom left hand column of the graph marked 2019 the number of “confirmed cases” and “clinically diagnosed” cases appears to reach around 200 altogether. Furthermore, wider and improved testing meant “suspected” cases could be clarified quicker and featured less in reporting. A lack of preparedness is reflected throughout the documents, sections of which are highly critical in their internal assessment of the government’s support for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention operations in Hubei. “The order of magnitude of change means there has to be something going on,” he said. The temperature rarely drops below freezing and it snows occasionally. Several areas of Hubei, of which Wuhan is the capital, have already flooded. And while there is no suggestion in the documents the two parallel crises are linked, information regarding the magnitude of Hubei’s influenza spike has still yet to be made public. They said they worked inside the Chinese healthcare system, and were a patriot motivated to expose a truth that had been censored, and honor colleagues who had also spoken out. “The numbers they were giving out were conservative, and this reflects how confusing, complex and chaotic the situation was,” he added. Conversely, however, the leaked documents also provide something of a defense of China’s overall handling of the virus. The notion of an impending pandemic seemed to many like an abstract distraction, as people returned home to spend time with their families. The report characterizes the Hubei CDC as underfunded, lacking the right testing equipment, and with unmotivated staff who were often felt ignored in China’s vast bureaucracy. Tuesday, December 1, marks one year since the first known patient showed symptoms of the disease in the Hubei provincial capital of Wuhan, according to a key study in the Lancet medical journal. streaming holiday shows. Yichang, 320 kilometers (198 miles) west of Wuhan, was hit hardest by the influenza outbreak — almost three times as many as Wuhan in the same week beginning December 2. However, experts cautioned that this did not necessarily indicate that the unknown test results were in fact undetected coronavirus cases. But, according to a study published in the journal Nature, they were unable to detect samples of the virus dating back earlier than January 2020. “If you look at the local level, the picture is not as rosy as the government had claimed,” he said. On other occasions, the data provides glimpses of new information but without vital context. ACT (Scrooge!) CNN has reached out to China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and National Health Commission, as well as Hubei’s Health Commission, which oversees the provincial CDC, for comment on the findings disclosed in the documents, but received no response. You can never guarantee 100% transparency. Sarah Morris, from the Digital Forensics Unit at Britain’s Cranfield University, said there was no evidence the data had been tampered with or was misleading. Andrew Mertha, director of the China Studies Program at John Hopkins University, said officials might have been motivated to “lowball” numbers to disguise under-funding and preparedness issues in local health care bodies like the provincial CDC. “We’re just not that great at diagnosing them. Related Articles and Berkeley Rep (Mary Zimmerman!) But 23 days is a long time.”. The number of reported cases and deaths in China’s major cities outside Wuhan have been far lower than the numbers in many European and American cities, but China … He pointed to the February 7 call between presidents Trump and Xi. “While making an all-out effort to contain the virus, China has also acted with a keen sense of responsibility to humanity, its people, posterity, and the international community. It is February 10 in Beijing and President Xi Jinping, who for weeks has been absent from public view, is addressing hospital staff in the city of Wuhan as they battle to contain the spread of a still officially unnamed novel coronavirus. These maps, which compare NO2 values over Wuhan, China, from January 1-20, 2020, and February 10-25 with the same period in 2019, show … Top health and provincial officials in Hubei were also removed from their positions at that time, who would have been ultimately responsible for the reporting. “That adds another layer of understanding as to why some of the numbers that came out from the higher levels of government probably were off,” said Schaffner from Vanderbilt University. His condition quickly worsened and in the early morning of February 7 he died, resulting in almost unprecedented levels of anger and outrage across mainland China’s heavily censored internet. Similar studies have yet to be carried out in other Hubei cities. 6 miles and an atmospheric pressure of 1029 mb. The report also highlights the CDC’s peripheral role in investigating the initial outbreak, noting that staff were constrained by official processes and their expertise not fully utilized. From a secure room about 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) from the epicenter, Xi expressed his condolences to those who have died in the outbreak. Theoretically, the system was supposed to enable regional hospitals and CDCs to directly report infectious diseases to a centrally managed system. Protocols for coronavirus diagnosis, published by China’s National Health Commission in late January, told doctors to label a case “suspected” if a patient had contact history with known cases, and a fever and pneumonia symptoms, and to elevate the case to “clinically diagnosed” if those symptoms were confirmed by an X-ray or CT scan. This use of a broad “suspected case” tally effectively downplayed the severity of patients who doctors had seen and determined were infected, according to stringent criteria, experts said. Dr. Anthony Fauci, who heads the National Institutes of Health, had previously backed funding for a controversial lab in Wuhan, China that has been … “It’s almost like a mini file system,” she said. The leaked documents show the daily confirmed death toll in Hubei rose to 196 on February 17. A sprawling metropolis, Wuhan is one of China's largest industrial and transport hubs, located on the banks of the Yangtze River. Nowhere in the files is it indicated that officials believed the virus would become a global pandemic. Try to imagine what that's like. Yet that claim has been at least partially challenged by a Lancet study of the first December patients, which determined one third of the 41 infected that month had no direct connection to that market. State media reported their punishment and warned public against rumour mongering. You may need to download version 2.0 now from the Chrome Web Store. The influenza “epidemic,” as officials noted in the document, was not only present in Wuhan in December, but was greatest in the neighboring cities of Yichang and Xianning. Weather Underground provides local & long-range weather forecasts, weatherreports, maps & tropical weather conditions for the Wuhan area. Streaming movie picks: David Fincher’s ‘Mank’ one of 2020’s best films. • It is the largest city in Hubei and the most populous city in Central China, with a population of over 11 million, the ninth-most populous Chinese city and one of the nine National Central Cities of China.. “In the United States, Britain, France and Germany, there’s always a lag. It will be mostly dry with little or no precipitation and cloud covering 91% of the sky, the humidity will be around 72%. When God speaks, the wise listens. Rather than taking a lead, the report suggests CDC staff were resigned to “passively” completing the task issued by superiors. Getty Images But Wuhan’s recovery has also become a propaganda tussle. All rights reserved. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Officials were also faced with a lumbering and unresponsive IT network, known as the China Infectious Disease Direct Reporting System, according to state media, installed at cost of $167 million after the 2003 SARS outbreak. Spring and Autumn each last for almost 60 days. This translation has been automatically generated and has not been verified for accuracy. It caused cases to rise to 20 times the level recorded the previous year, the documents show, placing enormous levels of additional stress on an already stretched health care system. Chinese officials did soon improve the reporting system, placing the “clinically diagnosed” cases into the “confirmed” category by mid-February. Li, 34, later contracted the disease. “These had global consequences. William Schaffner, professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University, said the Chinese approach was conservative, and the data “would have been presented in a different way had US epidemiologists been there to assist.”, He said Chinese officials “seemed actually to minimize the impact of the epidemic at any moment in time. All Access Digital offer for just 99 cents! Winters are pretty mild. People who live there have been under lockdown for more than 50 days. There is one mention of sub-par facilities at a bacterial and toxic species preservation center, though the point is not elaborated on, nor is its significance made clear. Feature China/Barcroft Media via … It also indicated that poor levels of personal protective equipment meant that virus samples had to be made inactive before testing. “A lot of the suspected cases there should have been included with the confirmed cases,” said Huang, from the Council on Foreign Relations, who reviewed the documents and found them to be authentic. Taken together, the documents amount to the most significant leak from inside China since the beginning of the pandemic and provide the first clear window into what local authorities knew internally and when. Experts, however, note the rise in influenza cases, while not unique to Hubei, would have complicated the task of officials on the lookout for new dangerous viruses. Xi’s highly public intervention, which came just days after Wuhan was placed under lockdown, carried with it a clear message: Failure is not an option. That’s a really good sign [of authenticity].”. Less than 24 hours after his prophecy, Wuhan in China which is the source of the endemic Coronavirus experienced shower of rain. After the outbreak, Chinese officials swiftly moved to assess the problems. People in Wuhan, China, line up at a facility that tests discharged COVID-19 patients as well as individuals who had been held in isolation. Even though China has never revealed the total number of Covid-19 cases in 2019, a graph in one document appears to suggest a much higher number had been detected. One of the hardest-hit provinces has been Hubei, whose capital, Wuhan, also had the first emergence of the coronavirus last year. It’s not just about any intentional cover-up, you are also constrained with by technology and other issues with a novel virus. They were overwhelmed. Streaming movie picks: David Fincher’s ‘Mank’ one of 2020’s best films Residents drink during the Wuhan Beer Festival on August 21, 2020 in Wuhan, Hubei, China. Back in January, high temperatures in Wuhan were in the 40s. Wuhan is the city in China where the coronavirus is thought to have originated. The picture taken on July 13 shows a … Metadata from the files seen by CNN contains the names of serving CDC officials as modifiers and authors. Santa Clara County reports COVID outbreak at juvenile hall, youth ranch Yet CNN can now reveal how official documents circulated internally show that this was only part of the picture. Wuhan has had just four confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus since May, when the city tested its entire population in the space of two weeks. The internal number is divided into subcategories, providing an insight into the full scope of Hubei’s diagnosis methodology at the time. The documents, however, are by no means clear cut. China has staunchly defended its handling of the outbreak. We look for the usual suspects. The documents include an internal audit, which forensic analysis shows was written in October 2019, before the pandemic began. To cope with the high volume, officials decided to begin incorporating other clinical diagnosis methods, such as CT scans. San Jose State has a kickoff time Saturday, but where are the Spartans practicing? To date, the clearest indication of how many cases were detected in 2019 is the 44 “cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology (unknown cause)” that Chinese authorities reported to the WHO for the period of the pandemic up to January 3, 2020. They also had 4.29″ of rain … Completing the CAPTCHA proves you are a human and gives you temporary access to the web property. But as I … It has released authoritative and detailed information as early as possible on a regular basis, thus effectively responding to public concern and building public consensus,” says the White Paper. Today, China is close to zero local cases and although small-scale outbreaks continue to flare, the virus is mostly contained. Similarly, no mention is made by officials of a so-called laboratory leak, or that the virus was man-made, as some critics, including top US officials, have claimed without evidence. As the virus spread, local officials were accused of downplaying the outbreak and its risk to the public. “They’re only testing for what they know — this [coronavirus] is an unknown unknown,” said Adalja, the JHU academic, adding that such a scenario that was not uncommon, globally. “So, it’s got lots of room for deleted stuff, for old things. If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices. Filed under china , … Ancient human species may have gone extinct because of climate change. Wuhan has a warm sea climate with very moist, hot summers. Your IP: 18.104.22.168 Health experts said the documents laid bare why what China knew in the early months mattered. These documents show the full extent of what officials knew, but chose not to spell out to the public. The influenza data also points to the influenza outbreak being worst in Yichang. On January 10, one of the documents reveals how during an audit of testing facilities, officials reported that the SARS testing kits that were being used to diagnose the new virus were ineffective, regularly giving false negatives. On two occasions, the public death numbers are narrowly over reported, with the internal figures indicating single-digit discrepancies of five and one, respectively. It remains unclear what impact or connection the influenza spike had on the Covid-19 outbreak. The Wuhan files: China document leak shows…, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Santa Clara County reports COVID outbreak at juvenile hall, youth ranch, The Wuhan files: China document leak shows flawed pandemic response, State lawmakers demand hearings over EDD prison fraud, ACT (Scrooge!) Another way to prevent getting this page in the future is to use Privacy Pass. But, so far, access for international experts to hospital medial records and raw data in Hubei has been limited, with the WHO saying last week they had “reassurances from our Chinese government colleagues that a trip to the field” would be granted as part of their investigation. The leaked revelations come as pressure builds from the US and the European Union on China to fully cooperate with a World Health Organization inquiry into the origins of the virus that has since spread to every corner of the globe, infecting more than 60 million people and killing 1.46 million. That same day, Chinese authorities reported 2,478 new confirmed cases — raising the total global number to more than 40,000, with fewer than 400 cases occurring outside of mainland China. Chinese state media have cited the presence of the novel coronavirus on imported frozen food packaging, as well as scientific papers, claiming that the coronavirus was circulating in Europe earlier than previously believed, as evidence that China may not have been its origin. Wuhan, sprawled in the subtropical moist monsoon climate zone, has abundant rainfall and four distinct seasons. The daytime temperature is going to reach 12 °c and the temperature is going to dip to 8 °c at night. China’s leaders were the first to confront the virus, implementing a raft of draconian restrictions beginning in late January intended to curb the spread of the outbreak. While the influenza spike and the emergence of Covid-19 are not linked in the documents or by other evidence, data pinpointing a flu-like outbreak in multiple cities in Hubei will likely be of interest to those researching the origins of the disease. “China had an image to protect internationally, and lower-ranking officials had a clear incentive to under-report — or to show their superiors that they were under-reporting — to outside eyes,” he said. The best time of year to visit Wuhan in China. The report notes that, by March 7, the system had much improved, with over 80% of the new confirmed cases diagnosed that day being recorded in the system that same day. However, though the documents provide no evidence of a deliberate attempt to obfuscate findings, they do reveal numerous inconsistencies in what authorities believed to be happening and what was revealed to the public. According to Mertha, the documents, which he reviewed and considered authentic, seemed to be organized so as to allow senior officials to paint whatever picture they wished. Their deaths were not public at the time, and were highly sensitive, given the volume of sympathy over-worked health care staff, on the frontline of the pandemic, were getting on social media at the time. It can get very hot in summer. ... a road following heavy rainfall in Wuhan, China, on July 6, 2020. San Jose State has a kickoff time Saturday, but where are the Spartans practicing? Get the forecast for today, tonight & tomorrow's weather for Wuhan, Hubei, China. In late December, a young doctor named Li Wenliang in one of Wuhan’s main hospitals, was among other medical workers summoned by local authorities and later received formal “reprimand” from the police for attempting to raise the alarm about a potential “SARS-like” virus. The documents show a wide-range of data on two specific days, February 10 and March 7, that is often at odds with what officials said publicly at the time. At a news conference on June 7, China’s State Council released a White Paper saying the Chinese government had always published information related to the epidemic in a “timely, open and transparent fashion.”. Torrential rain in Jingmen flooded shops and supermarkets. On March 7, the total death toll in Hubei since the beginning of the outbreak stood at 2,986, but in the internal report it is listed as 3,456, including 2,675 confirmed deaths, 647 “clinically diagnosed” deaths, and 126 “suspected” case deaths. Cloudflare Ray ID: 5fb8fa822b0128f2 But Wuhan has not had a local coronavirus case since mid-May, and about 9.9 million people in the city have been tested for the virus. This led to the creation of category referred to internally as “clinically diagnosed cases.” It was not until mid-February that the clinically diagnosed cases were added to the confirmed case numbers. Tuesday marks exactly 12 months since the first patient in Wuhan started showing symptoms, according to the Lancet study. The documents have been verified by six independent experts who examined the veracity of their content on behalf of CNN. But even if they had been 100% transparent, that would not stop the Trump administration downplaying the seriousness of it. Dali Yang, who has extensively studied the outbreak’s origins, said that in February numbers “still mattered because of global perceptions.”, “They were still hoping it was like 2003, and like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) would be eventually contained, and everything can go back to normal,” added Yang, who is a professor of political science at the University of Chicago. One expert with close ties to China reported seeing some of the reports during confidential research earlier this year. Separately, the flu spike could have helped to unintentionally accelerate the coronavirus’ early spread, said Huang. Death tolls listed in the documents reveal the starkest discrepancies. The death toll and number of people infected by the virus, now known to the world as Covid-19 and impacting the lives across the planet, continues to grow, day on day. The documents, which cover an incomplete period between October 2019 and April this year, reveal what appears to be an inflexible health care system constrained by top-down bureaucracy and rigid procedures that were ill-equipped to deal with the emerging crisis. Notably, the outbreak that week is not felt most severely in Wuhan — the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak — but in the nearby cities of Yichang, with 6,135 cases, and Xianning, with 2,148 cases. In reality, it was slow to log into, one audit said, and many other bureaucratic procedural restrictions hampered rapid data recording and gathering. Even as authorities in Hubei presented their handling of the initial outbreak to the public as efficient and transparent, the documents show that local health officials were reliant on flawed testing and reporting mechanisms. A European security official with knowledge of Chinese internal documents and procedures also confirmed to CNN that the files were genuine. During the last 30 years, analysts say, many in China have appeared willing to relinquish political freedoms in return for increased material wealth, social stability and greater opportunities. In a report marked “internal document, please keep confidential,” local health authorities in the province of Hubei, where the virus was first detected, list a total of 5,918 newly detected cases on February 10, more than double the official public number of confirmed cases, breaking down the total into a variety of subcategories. “They had a massive run on the medical system. Other, yet graver issues noted in the documents were raised by health experts. The CDC internal report complains over an absence of operational funding from the Hubei provincial government and notes the staffing budget is 29% short of its annual target. Helen Hai, … There was truly despair among medical professionals by the end of January, because they were extremely overworked and they were also enormously discouraged by the high number of deaths that were occurring with a disease they had not treated previously,” he added. In the first months of the outbreak, the average time required to process a case — from the patient experiencing symptoms (onset) to being confirmed diagnosed was 23.3 days. This story has been corrected to reflect that US scientists have already come to the conclusion that the virus was not made in a lab. The previously undisclosed figure is among a string of revelations contained within 117 pages of leaked documents from the Hubei Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, shared with and verified by CNN. We’re always looking for the horses, but never the zebras.”.