The coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China for the first time which led to a pandemic within a few months. During the initial phase of the coronavirus outbreak, The World Health Organization (WHO) repeatedly praised the efforts of China to contain the spread of the novel virus. The global organization publically thanked the government of China for providing them the genetic map of coronavirus within a short time. The transparency of the government related to sharing coronavirus information was also acclaimed.
It only appears to be a coax since China had delayed providing significant information related to the virus which caused the authorities to become frustrated as they did not have the required coronavirus information to control the outbreak.
China delayed the release of the genome of coronavirus for about a week. Until then, several labs under the government had provided that information. According to several interviews of the officials, the blame was put on the stringent control and competition inside the healthcare system of China.
On January 11, a virologist website published the genome of the virus, and later it was released by the Chinese government. Furthermore, China delayed the detailed information of the Covid-19 cases for another two weeks. The U.N. health agency conducted internal meetings throughout January in which the Chinese officials did not provide the data of Covid-19 patients.
The authorities at WHO publically praised China to extract further information from the Chinese government. In private meetings, however, the WHO officials repeatedly complained that the government has not provided them with enough information to assess the situation of the outbreak. They were not able to timely deduce the risk this virus poses to the public.
Maria Van Kerkhove is the technical lead for coronavirus pandemic at WHO and an American epidemiologist. She said in a private meeting that they do not have adequate information to plan the resistance against the virus.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said that in the next couple of years, China will provide $2 billion to eliminate the virus. He said that the Chinese government has always timely provided the coronavirus information.
The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention provided retrospective data of infection from January. The data suggests that the virus had spread 100 to 200 months over almost one month. On January 2, a government lab decoded the complete genome of the virus and on January 30, a worldwide emergency was declared by the WHO.
The virus has spread globally while infecting around 6 million people and causing nearly 375,000 fatalities.
A professor at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Ali Mokdad at the University of Washington said that the outbreak could have been less severe if the WHO responded earlier. The health experts along with Mokdad said that there is a possibility that if WHO confronted China about the situation, they might have ended up getting no coronavirus information from the Chinese government.
The Chinese officials have denied the claims and said that they have been completely transparent with the public and WHO from the beginning. They also said that the coronavirus information has been released responsibly and promptly.