The Wuhan government has been criticized for failing to disclose critical information, including the severity of the virus and the fact that it could be transmitted from person to person. Wuhan Major Zhou Xianwang said that, before January 20, he had not been “authorized” to do so.
In an interview with the China Central Television (CCTV) on January 27, 2020, Zhou apologized for not releasing the epidemic information to the public earlier. He stated that “as a local government, I could not release information until I received information and authorization.” “Especially after January 20, the State Council had a meeting, defining it as a category B infectious disease but deciding to handle it as a category A infectious disease. It then asked the local government to be responsible and we could be therefore be more active in our work.”
He said that they decided to lock down the city to keep the virus within the city and not spread out, even though they might be blamed in the future. Ma Guoqiang (Wuhan Party Secretary) and he were willing to take the responsibility for this decision.
He didn’t mention when they knew about the information.
Both Caixin and The Beijing News reported his statement.
1. Excerpt in Chinese:
Source: The Beijing News, January 27, 2020
2. Excerpt in Chinese:
Source: Caixin, January 27, 2020