Is China lying? Experts question why authorities suddenly kicked into action weeks after first coronavirus case was reported amid claims the regime has used its superpower status to stop UN declaring an international emergency

Saturday, January 25, 2020
By Paul Martin

Experts are questioning whether China has been transparent over the outbreak
Concerns Chinese medical research into the virus could have been halted
More than 1,300 people have been infected globally with virus traced to China
Despite this, the WHO has failed to declare a global health crisis on Thursday
Experts have warned prominent Chinese figures pressed the WHO over crisis

By JAMES WOOD and SOPHIE TANNO
DAILYMAIL.COM
25 January 2020

Experts are questioning why Chinese authorities have suddenly leaped into action, weeks after the first coronavirus case was reported.

Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch (HRW) has been left concerned about China’s transparency in light of the quarantine of victims of the virus, as well as China’s wider response.

More than 1,300 people have been infected globally with the virus traced to a seafood market in the central city of Wuhan that was illegally selling wildlife.

Richardson told The Telegraph: ‘From a medical and human rights perspective, it is essential in these situations that people can trust the information available.

‘I have real concerns about people who are supposedly “spreading rumours” being harassed by authorities, especially at a time when people are concerned they are not getting accurate information.’

She believes the Chinese state could have deliberately silenced medical experts raising the alarm about the virus, and halted medical research.

It comes amid claims China’s status as a major superpower may have influenced the World Health Organisation’s decision not to declare coronavirus an international emergency.

The WHO has failed to declare a global health crisis. On Thursday the organisation said it was ‘too early’ for such a decision but added an emergency could still be declared if the outbreak continues to spread.

‘This should not be taken as a sign that we don’t think the outbreak is serious, or that we are not taking it seriously,’ said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

‘Nothing could be further from the truth.’

Now, baffled experts have warned that their decision may have been influenced by China.

Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, told The Daily Telegraph: ‘The criteria for declaring a public health emergency of international concern have been met.’

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