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Lack of Action: National Health Commission Delayed 15 Days before Sharing the Coronavirus Information

Caixin reported that, in late December, several institutes in China found that the Wuhan pneumonia was caused by a SARS-like virus, but the National Health Commission didn’t share the information until 15 days later.

On December 27, 2019, Vision Medicals in Guangzhou became the first known company to detect the genome. Around the same time, a few other gene testing companies, including CapitalBio MedLab in Beijing and the industry’s leader Beijing Genomics Institute, had obtained samples from Wuhan Hospitals. Their test results were all reported back to the hospitals and to the Health Commission and to disease control organs.

The National Health Commission, however, did not share the novel coronavirus genome information until January 11. Prior to that, the National Health Commission issued its “No 3 Order” requesting institutes and individuals who had obtained the biological samples to destroy them immediately or to submit them to the officials for storage and not to release any testing information. A staff member from a gene testing company said that the Hubei Provincial Health Commission also gave such an order over the phone.

Caixin is a Beijing-based media group providing financial and business news and information. It was founded in 2010 by Hu Shuli (胡舒立), who was known for her outspoken style.

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Source: Caixin, February 27, 2020