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Unknown Severe Pneumonia Case Showed up in Shenzhen

Recently, after the outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan, Hubei Province, Shenzhen also  found a case of severe pneumonia of unknown origin. The government announced on Sunday (January 12) that the possibility of SARS and a coronavirus infection have been ruled out. However, due to the authorities’ manner of epidemiological investigation, coupled with the opaqueness of government information, the people’s distrust has continued to spread.

A hospital in Shenzhen issued a notice Sunday about a 41-year-old female patient who is of Indian nationality and teaches at a local international school. The notice stated that, after Shenzhen did some testing, CDC, influenza, bird flu, SARS, Middle East respiratory syndrome, and the new coronavirus that was recently discovered in Wuhan have been ruled out.

To this end, Radio Free Asia called the hospital in question, but the doctor declined to be interviewed on the grounds that the situation was unclear. The local district health bureau in Shenzhen said that the above-mentioned pathogens have been ruled out, but it did not say that it was a new type of pneumonia; it was just a case of severe pneumonia. At present, the pathogen of this severe pneumonia case does not have a clear target, so it is not possible to sequence the pathogen genetically. The only conclusion is that it is a severe pulmonary infection. The official also said that, due to the rapid development of the disease, screening was performed for several known conditions. He was not sure that they belonged to a specific disease.

In order to achieve social control, the Chinese government controls important information releases, including any animal epidemic disclosures. Thus this has, by law, been classified as a state secret. Based on the logic of maintaining stability, concealment of information about the epidemic has become the norm. The government’s concealment of the SARS epidemic in 2003 led to catastrophic consequences.

Source: Radio Free Asia, January 13, 2020