Scientists ‘Raised Alarm Over Coronavirus In December But Goverment Ordered Cover-up

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Chinese scientists raised alarm over coronavirus in December but government ordered cover-up, new report claims

Scientists in China raised the alarm about coronavirus in December but were told by government officials to suppress the evidence, a report has claimed.

In December a number of sick patients in Wuhan were tested by genomics companies, who noticed similarities between their illnesses and SARS, as reported by Caixin Global.

Researchers told Beijing about their findings, but were told to keep quiet by China’s National Health Commission.

It is understood that local officials did not tell representatives from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention when they visited Wuhan on January 8 about the outbreak.

Officials in Wuhan also went ahead with a potluck dinner for 40,000 families, rather than respond to the outbreak of the virus.

A man wearing a facemask to protect against the COVID-19 coronavirus looks on at the Beihai park in Beijing

Shortly afterwards on January 20, China launched a massive effort to contain the virus, shutting down Wuhan.

Most of the samples tested by the Guangzhou-based genomics company came from the lung of a 65-year-old delivery driver who worked at a seafood market.

Just days later on December 30, Dr Li Weliang was one of the first to warn about the crisis in Wuhan. He was punished for releasing the information, and would later die from the virus after contracting it from a patient weeks later.

It comes as Donald Trump banned travel to Iran after America reported its first death from the virus, also known as Covid-19.

The US president added that he was considering additional restrictions, including closing the border with Mexico in response to the outbreak.

WHO’s Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told his half a million Twitter followers yesterday: ‘If you are 60+, or have an underlying condition like cardiovascular disease, a respiratory condition or diabetes, you have a higher risk of developing severe #COVID19.

‘Try to avoid crowded areas, or places where you might interact with people who are sick.’

While infection is far more likely to cause severe illness in the elderly, the advice also applies to people of all ages who have serious health conditions (pictured, army soldiers wearing protective suits spraying disinfectant in Daegu, South Korea)

In Australia, a 78-year-old man who contracted coronavirus on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan became the first Australian to die of the disease.

Emerging clusters in Italy and in Iran, which has had 43 deaths and 593 cases confirmed, have led to infections of people in other countries.

Iran has the highest death toll outside China, and health officials urged people not to attend funerals, as mass gatherings could help spread the virus.

Earlier on Saturday, Bahrain threatened to prosecute travellers who came from Iran and had not been tested. The island nation has been hard-hit and shut down flights to halt the spread, and all its cases link back to Iran.

The US is banning travel to Iran and elevating travel warnings to regions of Italy and South Korea.

Vice president Mike Pence announced the new restrictions and warnings as President Donald Trump said 22 people in the US have been infected by the coronavirus and that additional cases are ‘likely’.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said all passenger flights to and from Italy, Iraq and South Korea had been halted.

France and Germany were also seeing increases, with dozens of infections.

France is banning all indoor public gatherings of more than 5,000 people to slow the spread of coronavirus cases and recommending that people no longer greet each other with kisses.

The cancellation of large gatherings in confined spaces was announced by Health Minister Olivier Veran after special government meetings Saturday that focused on responses to the epidemic.

Having previously recommended that people avoid shaking hands, the minister said they should also cut back on ‘la bise,’ the custom in France and elsewhere in Europe of giving greetings with kisses, or air kisses, on the cheeks.

The tightened restrictions on public gatherings had an immediate impact. A major four-day trade show in Cannes for property investors was postponed from March to June.

Just 48 hours ago, the first case in Northern Ireland was made public – as it’s revealed more than 10,000 Britons have now been tested for the deadly virus. Pictured: A man wearing a facemask in Dublin Airport

A half-marathon that was scheduled for Sunday in Paris also was cancelled, as was a carnival in the Alpine town of Annecy, Veran announced.

He said other outdoor events and gatherings that might lead to a mixing of people from infected areas could also be canceled.

Public gatherings are being banned completely in the Oise region north of Paris that has seen a cluster of cases, and in a town in the foothills of the Alps that has also seen infections, he said.

Streets were deserted in the city of Sapporo on Japan’s northernmost main island of Hokkaido, where a state of emergency was issued until mid-March.

Seventy cases – the largest from a single prefecture in Japan – have been detected in the island prefecture, where experts have raised concern about growing clusters of patients with unknown transmission routes.

Prime minister Shinzo Abe, who has been criticised for lacking leadership and crisis management, stepped up measures earlier this week, and urged school across the county to close until the end of March.

Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan announced they would close, and events expected to attract tens of thousands of people were called off, including a concert series by K-pop group BTS.

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