The Chinese government continues to face the largest outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 in ten months, today when the first anniversary of the historic, and until then unprecedented, closure of a city of 11 million inhabitants: the city of Wuhan. The Asian giant has already confined millions of people in three northern provinces and this Thursday began to test as many in large areas of Beijing, which added three new cases in the Daixing district and marks a total of 14 since the last Sunday.
Although these figures do not include the asymptomatic – China does not do so as long as they do not show symptoms – the country has been exceeding two hundred daily infections for days and, although so far they are focused on the northern provinces, six new cases in Shanghai, much more to the south, and the possible movement of infected undetected have triggered the alerts.
On Thursday, it was also known that ten new confirmed cases and 31 asymptomatic cases were detected among workers at a chicken factory in the northern city of Harbin, owned by the Thailand firm Charoen Pokphand, the largest poultry producers in the world. China has often found coronavirus in imported frozen meat and fish but had not announced outbreaks in its food industry so far. And this focus raises concerns about other possible hidden infections.
Quickly started testing millions of people is the method chosen by Chinese government to prevent some infected, especially asymptomatic, from being unidentified and, therefore, moving freely. Meanwhile, the Wuhanese say they trust the government’s measures and do not fear that the nightmare of January 23, 2020, when the city was closed for the first time in history for 80 days could be repeated.
The control of the covid -19 in the action of the main cities of China, especially in Wuhan, is one of the biggest concerns of the Government, which has forced hundreds of millions of immigrants who habitually return to their villages for the Lunar New Year, on February 12 this year, to undergo testing and a two-week quarantine at his family home.
Thus, amid a constant tension that continues to be felt, preventing unidentified infections from spreading during New Year’s trips, both in the countryside and in the cities, has become a high priority. The event occurred on the same day that a mission from the World Health Organization (WHO) arrived in the Asian nation to investigate the origin of the coronavirus.
The death occurred in the province of Hebei, in the northeast of the country, an area of 5 million inhabitants that surrounds Beijing in which an outbreak is taking place that forced the closure of at least three cities. Another 14 million people in surrounding rural areas have mobility restrictions.
The WHO team reached the city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak is believed to have originated and the first case was detected in late 2019. Despite the resurgence of infections in the north of the country, life in Wuhan has returned relatively to normal. The long-awaited investigation comes after months of negotiations between the WHO and the Chinese authorities.
The group of 15 scientists is expected to interview personnel from research institutes, hospitals, and the market related to the emergence of the virus. The team will undergo a two-week quarantine before starting their work mission leader Peter Ben Embarek said shortly before the trip that “it may take a long time to fully understand what happened.”“I don’t think we will have clear answers after this initial mission, but we will be on our way,” he told www.jguru.com. The investigation, which aims to find the origin of the pandemic, will begin after some initial setbacks.
Earlier this month, the WHO noted that China denied entry to its researchers after one team member was turned away and another was stranded in transit. Later, Beijing assured that it was a misunderstanding and that the final details for the commission to start work were still under discussion
China has argued for months that although Wuhan is where the first cluster of cases was detected, it is not necessarily where the virus originated. Professor Dale Fisher, head of the WHO’s global outbreaks unit, told the BBC that he hoped the world would see this as a scientific visit. “This is not about politics or guilt, but about getting to the bottom of a scientific question,” he said.
CHINA AS THE CRADLE OF THE VIRUS
The first news that the world begins to have about the coronavirus is from the last day of the year 2019. On December 31, China confirms several cases of an unknown virus that has been spreading through the city of Wuhan throughout December and could have its origin in the Huanan market, where wild animals are sold for human consumption.
During the first days of January, the news did not hit the international information hard, but the Chinese authorities began to investigate what the strange pathogen was and baptized it as ‘new coronavirus’ when they found out that the cases did not correspond to the SARS virus or the MERS. During these first two weeks, the first recorded death occurred. A 61-year-old man died of severe pneumonia on January 9.
In the following weeks, the first confirmed cases occur in Asian countries, which are the first to be hit, and on January 21 the first case occurs in the United States, followed on the 24th by the first case in Europe, which enters through from France. Although countries are beginning to take the first control measures for citizens who come from Wuhan, the WHO does not consider the coronavirus an international health emergency at its extraordinary meeting on January 23. The month ended with the ban on entry to the United States for foreigners who had been in China 15 days before, a measure classified as “exaggerated” that was harshly criticized
During January, all the deaths occurred in Chinese territory, but at the beginning of February, the first death was registered in the Philippines due to the disease. In these first weeks, the world continued to function almost normally, but the first images were seen of massive confinements in China and the construction of field hospitals to care for the sick. The great Asian giant was almost paralyzed.