Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus in China with 11 million people is in lock down. The death toll has risen more and the level of infections has spread not just to China but to other countries, where their nationals have visited the county and other places where infections have been reported.
We will never know the extent of the epidemic as China controls all parts of the country and even castigated the doctor who warned about the epidemic that later on died from the infection. This behavior from China is not going to be constructive in getting down to the root cause of the virus, getting help from experts and other parties that can lend scientific and technical support, and coordination when other countries want their nationals to be lifted out of China and other places under close monitoring.
When disaster strikes, information is a 'life and death' criterion. Information becomes critical in saving lives, alerting other people about dangers and hazards, asking for life-saving help, and appealing for people's participation and unity to rally behind those in need. We need information for preparedness, for collaboration, for greater awareness of the problem. One country's problem becomes a global concern and everyone can contribute to alleviating further suffering.
A humanitarian expert that I talked with recently said that China has asked them to leave and that through the grapevine, there are more deaths underreported. I also heard that China is asking for help behind closed doors.
Whether this is true or not, the secrecy policy aggravates the situation, when misinformation is allowed to spread leading to the pandemic of fear and public unrest. This same fear is what makes the Chinese government reluctant to accept that there was a problem, reneging on their duty to protect and prepare their citizens, and seeking to contain and stabilize, but not to prevent its future occurrence.
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