In December 2019, the first case of the coronavirus was discovered in Wuhan, China. Since then, it has spread to dozens of other countries and resulted in tens of thousands of people being infected and hundreds of deaths.
When the virus began to spread, Chinese citizens who tried to warn others about the illness were accused of lying and told by police to stop their “illegal activity”. Since then, China’s top officials have admitted there were shortcomings in response to the virus and recognised they must improve their national emergency management system.
“There’s no denying that there should have been more information, more transparency, and a better emergency response system in place,” China Global Television Network anchor Wang Guan said.
In Xinjiang province, where at least one million Uighur Muslims are being held in camps, multiple cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed raising fears it could spread rapidly in the region.
“There have been very few cases in Xinjiang. Actually, Xinjiang ranks number six from the bottom in terms of the confirmed cases. There has not been a single death in Xinjiang so far. The situation is well under control over there,” Wang said.
Dozens of commercial airlines have imposed travel restrictions on flights to China. There have also been several reports of business and individuals inciting racism against people of Chinese descent in response to the outbreak.
“These are really concerning issues because now some westerners are calling China, calling the Coronavirus the China Virus, but I didn’t remember people calling Zika, the Brazil Virus, or Ebola the Congo Virus,” Wang said.