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. 6 miles and an atmospheric pressure of 1029 mb. “They had a massive run on the medical system. The high false-negative rate exposed a series of problems China would take weeks to rectify. The daytime temperature is going to reach 12 °c and the temperature is going to dip to 8 °c at night. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! On two occasions, the public death numbers are narrowly over reported, with the internal figures indicating single-digit discrepancies of five and one, respectively. 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. “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. That same day, Hubei publicly reported just 93 virus deaths. Pandemic: Swamped hospitals scramble to hire staff, Coronavirus: Santa Clara County hospitals nearing capacity, Theranos founder Holmes’ trial to go ahead with socially distanced jury: judge. Separately, the flu spike could have helped to unintentionally accelerate the coronavirus’ early spread, said Huang. 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. Another way to prevent getting this page in the future is to use Privacy Pass. 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. 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. Back in January, high temperatures in Wuhan were in the 40s. Using sophisticated surveillance tools, government officials enforced strict lockdowns across the country, largely restricting more than 700 million people to their homes, while sealing national borders and carrying out widespread testing and contract tracing. 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. In February, however, it was a different story. The reports show that in the early stages of the pandemic, China faced the same problems of accounting, testing, and diagnosis that still haunt many Western democracies even now — issues compounded by Hubei encountering an entirely new virus. Theoretically, the system was supposed to enable regional hospitals and CDCs to directly report infectious diseases to a centrally managed system. 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. This would then allow the data to be shared instantly with CDCs and relevant health departments nationwide. China has staunchly defended its handling of the outbreak. “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. Performance & security by Cloudflare, Please complete the security check to access. The Guanyinge temple, a 700-year old temple built on a rock, in the swollen Yangtze River in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province. 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. The leaked documents show the daily confirmed death toll in Hubei rose to 196 on February 17. State media reported their punishment and warned public against rumour mongering. 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. Experts said that meant most of the daily figures that informed the government response risked being inaccurate or dated. ACT (Scrooge!) “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. 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. Helen Hai, … and Berkeley Rep (Mary Zimmerman!) Weather. Throughout this period, the gulf between public statements by Chinese officials and the internally distributed data is at times blunt. To cope with the high volume, officials decided to begin incorporating other clinical diagnosis methods, such as CT scans. Your IP: 184.108.40.206 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. • However, Mertha, the JHU academic, said the mismatch between the higher internal and lower public figures on the February death toll “appeared to be a deception, for unsurprising reasons.”. They also had 4.29″ of rain … London — A group of frontline medical workers, likely exhausted, stand huddled together on a video-conference call as China’s most powerful man raises his hand in greeting. Residents drink during the Wuhan Beer Festival on August 21, 2020 in Wuhan, Hubei, China. 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. 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. Streaming movie picks: David Fincher’s ‘Mank’ one of 2020’s best films. State lawmakers demand hearings over EDD prison fraud “It’s almost like a mini file system,” she said. As case numbers soared nationwide, government officials were facing a potential crisis of legitimacy, with public opinion fast turning against the ruling Communist Party over its perceived mishandling of the deadly new disease. 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. On other occasions, the data provides glimpses of new information but without vital context. 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. Testing was inaccurate from the start, the documents said, and led to a reporting system with weeks long delays in diagnosing new cases. He pointed to the February 7 call between presidents Trump and Xi. Conversely, however, the leaked documents also provide something of a defense of China’s overall handling of the virus. 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. 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. This discrepancy was likely due to a combination of a highly dysfunctional reporting system and a recurrent instinct to suppress bad news, said analysts. The files were presented to CNN by a whistleblower who requested anonymity. 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. 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. It will be mostly dry with little or no precipitation and cloud covering 91% of the sky, the humidity will be around 72%. Streaming movie picks: David Fincher’s ‘Mank’ one of 2020’s best films “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. 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.”. At several critical moments in the early phase of the pandemic, the documents show evidence of clear missteps and point to a pattern of institutional failings. Furthermore, wider and improved testing meant “suspected” cases could be clarified quicker and featured less in reporting. ... a road following heavy rainfall in Wuhan, China, on July 6, 2020. 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. 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. She added the older files looked like they had been used repeatedly over a long period of time. He urged greater public communication, as around the world concerns mounted about the potential threat posed by the new disease. 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. This translation has been automatically generated and has not been verified for accuracy. Thu 03/12 Tuesday marks exactly 12 months since the first patient in Wuhan started showing symptoms, according to the Lancet study. “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. 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. However, experts cautioned that this did not necessarily indicate that the unknown test results were in fact undetected coronavirus cases. Try to imagine what that's like. “You’re looking at data that’s three weeks old and trying to make a decision for today,” he said. On February 10, when China reported 2,478 new confirmed cases nationwide, the documents show Hubei actually circulated a different total of 5,918 newly reported cases. This was confirmed by citizens of the country .