▲File Photo: VCG
The Chinese embassy in France on Thursday refuted two reports by Le Figaro which ignored the facts of China’s anti-epidemic fight and were misleading to readers.
The embassy published a clarification of the content on its website on Thursday, refuting two specific references in two reports dated December 10.
One of the reports, seeming based on an unverified South China Morning Post report, claimed that China only decided to shut down Wuhan more than two months after the city found its first case.
However, the embassy pointed out, the “first case” that SCMP referred to has never been verified by authorities, and even if it did exist, it was not knowingly a COVID-19 case at that time. Such cases found in scientific retrospect cannot be used to blame the local authorities’ response.
If so, the embassy statement continues, should we accuse European countries and the US of epidemic coverup themselves, given that recent research suggests possible infections in these countries weeks and even months before Wuhan reported its first case?
The fact is that China moved to shut down Wuhan in less than a month since the outbreak, which is by no means a “coverup” or slow reaction; in fact, it won two months’ worth of time for the world, the embassy said.
The other Le Figaro report tried to make readers believe that COVID-19’s spread around the world started at the 7th Military World Games held in Wuhan in October 2019. The embassy said this report contradicts itself by saying that several weeks after the Games, Wuhan reported a surge in flu-like cases, suspected of being COVID-19.
However, it is now widely known it takes five to 10 days before an infected person develops symptoms; therefore, we can only conclude from this report that people from outside of Wuhan brought the virus in, not that they became infected in Wuhan, the embassy said.
As a scientific issue of complexity and severity, tracing the sources of the novel coronavirus should be conducted by scientists around world through international cooperation, the embassy said, urging media outlets and professionals to report objectively and precisely, rather than making up false information and misleading the public out of ideological bias or political purposes.