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Coronavirus: Wuhan Missed its Last Chance on this Day

January 10, Wuhan, it was cold and without sunshine, and the temperature reached a minimum of 3 degrees.


For many citizens, this was an ordinary day. The girls wore skirts to have a party in Huanghelou; many couples got married on that day; the aunts were having a square dance at the train station to welcome passengers.

They didn’t know that the fate of the city went to an inflection completely on this day.

Analysis of Epidemiological Features of Coronavirus Pneumonia
Analysis of Epidemiological Features of Coronavirus Pneumonia

On February 19, a paper titled “Analysis of Epidemiological Features of Coronavirus Pneumonia” from the China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began to be widely reported by the media.

Before this, it was submerged in vast news and received little attention.

The article analyzes 72,314 patients with novel coronary pneumonia
The article analyzes 72,314 patients with novel coronary pneumonia

This is the most important paper of the epidemic by far. The signature is led by Feng Zijian, deputy director of the CDC. Gao Fu, director of the CDC, did not appear unusually.

This article analyzes 72,314 patients with novel coronary pneumonia, which is the sum of all confirmed patients as of February 11. This is by far the largest number of cases studied.

The paper disclosed for the first time that before January 10, confirmed cases had appeared in 20 provinces across the country.

Illness chart of coronavirus
Illness chart of coronavirus

In chronological order, it not only counts the date of the confirmed report of all cases but also the date of onset, so that we can clearly see the day when the outbreak changed.

The epidemic curve shows that the onset time of coronavirus patients began to rise sharply on January 10 after experiencing slow development from December to early January, and then started an almost unstoppable growth trend.

Statistics of coronavirus
Statistics of coronavirus

Before December 31, 104 infected people may have appeared; an increase of 653 people in the first 10 days of January; but between January 11 and 20, before Nanshan Zhong announced that human-to-human transmission, 5417 cases surged, and then the epidemic broke out completely; After reaching the epidemic peak on February 5, it slowly declined. From January 10 to February 5, there are almost two incubation periods.

Paramedics infected, movie stills
Paramedics infected, movie stills

The pattern of the onset time of medical personnel is also the same, and it has also increased sharply after January 10. As of now, more than 3,000 medical personnel who protect the lives of people have been unfortunately infected.

We cannot help to ask, what happened on this day and the days before and after January 10th? If certain measures were taken in Wuhan on that day, could the tragedy of humanity in thousands of families in Wuhan be avoided? Has the tragic economic shutdown in other provinces and cities nationwide ceased?

We can see that Wuhan in media reports and realistic show different sections.

Part One: Wuhan in official media-relax outside

January 10 is the day when the Spring Festival of the whole country begins. On the same day, the Wuhan Railway opened an additional 55 passenger trains. “Changjiang Daily,” wrote in a routine feature on the first day of the Spring Festival: People are pushing their luggage with joy and embarked on the journey home, and they are happy to go home!

Report of Changjiang Daily
Report of Changjiang Daily

Just two days ago, on January 8, officials from the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that the novel coronavirus was the pathogen of the epidemic. Previously, MERS and SARS, both members of the coronavirus family, caused a large number of infections from person to person. The possible human-to-human transmission of coronavirus is common virological knowledge.

Weibo of Changjiang Daily
Weibo of Changjiang Daily

In the newspapers and official new media articles published in Wuhan on January 10, the two sessions of Wuhan, which closed on the 10th, were the top priority. According to the statistics, the official Weibo of the Changjiang Daily sent 100 articles: 31 of them were related to the two sessions; 18 were about the Spring Festival, and Weibo about the Spring Festival did not mention the prevention and control suggestions such as wearing a mask; only 1 is about the epidemic situation; the rest of the microblogs mostly welcomed the New Year with joy.

On the 10th, the only one microblog about the epidemic was in the Changjiang Daily. Ke Hu, a professor of respiratory medicine at Hubei Provincial People’s Hospital, told reporters that most of the patients in the hospital were in stable condition.

Guoqiang Ma

On the same day, Ma Guoqiang addressed the deputies at the closing meeting of the Wuhan People’s Congress. He said that it is necessary to go deep into the grassroots, listen to the voices of the masses, put forward more targeted and operable suggestions, and do more practical and good things for the common people. He appealed to work hard for Wuhan to build a well-off society in an all-round way and speed up the construction of national central cities and new first-tier cities! This statement was the highest program of the Wuhan Municipal Party Committee at that time.

It seems that this goal is too far in the future.

Also on the same day, Lishan Hu, vice secretary of Wuhan, became director of the Wuhan People’s Congress and was officially promoted to deputy minister-level cadre.

Just four days ago, the official media reported that Guoqiang Ma resigned as the director of the Standing Committee of the Wuhan Municipal People’s Congress because of work needs.

After the end of the two sessions in Wuhan on the 10th, the representatives of the provincial two sessions have gathered at the provincial capital’s resident site. The next day, the two sessions of Hubei will officially begin.

Everything seems to be working in an orderly way.

Part Two: Wuhan in the system-tight inside

Internally, however, many people are aware of the seriousness of the problem. But is the so-called “outside loose, inside tight” really tight?

What many people haven’t noticed is that from the statement of the Wuhan Health Commission after January 10, the two expressions of “no obvious evidence of human-to-human transmission” and “no infection of medical personnel” have begun to be downplayed.

However, according to the report on January 11, as of January 10, 2020, 41 cases of pneumonia with a novel coronavirus infection were initially diagnosed. Since then, until January 15th, the Wuhan Municipal Health and Health Commission reported that there were no new confirmed cases.

According to the memories of the doctors of Suizhou Central Hospital, as early as January 10th, the central hospital had a teleconference held by the Hubei Health and Medical Commission to understand how to deal with pneumonia of unknown origin. Experts and hospitals in the province have repeatedly conducted key departments Training in clinical diagnosis, protection, and nosocomial infection control.

One day before the 10th, Zhongsheng Shang, deputy director of the Wuhan University Urban Security and Social Management Research Center, received a call from the reporter of the Central Radio and Television Hubei Station. Zhongsheng Shang was an expert in emergency management. The reporter hoped that he would make suggestions on infectious diseases. Zhongsheng Shang later learned from the reporter that this infectious disease is very serious. Yangguang reporter has interviewed several patients. A young man who had worked in Wuhan spent 90,000 yuan earned but still had not been diagnosed, later, he was unable to meet the hospital’s 200,000 yuan requirements treatment fee, had to go home and wait. During the communication, the reporter stated that the report would be reported in the form of “internal reference”.

On January 10th, institutions and enterprises such as the China Centers for Disease Control and Development developed and tested PCR test kits for the detection and diagnosis of suspected cases in Wuhan. These researchers also quickly released the entire viral gene sequence to the world that day in order to facilitate scientists and companies around the world to start virus research and produce reagents.

On the 10th, a company called Wenjian Medical announced that it mobilized the company’s only mask space to produce full-power masks. The company, which was called the emperor in the epidemic, also canceled its annual meeting in Hubei on December 20, 2019.

Part three: Wuhan in the hospital-contradictory statement

At the conference hall, deputies told about new plans for development. Outside the conference hall, ordinary people’s days went on as usual; but in the hospital, another scene was presented.

On January 10, the bed in the ICU quarantine area of ​​the Central South Hospital was reserved for patients with unknown pneumonia. The director Zhiyong Peng was worried. He repeatedly reported to the leadership that it may be highly contagious, and the hospital leader also reported to the Wuhan Health and Medical Commission. Then, the expert group of the Health Committee came to the hospital to investigate. The comments made by the experts made Peng Zhiyong very angry because they still adhere to the diagnostic standards that the National Expert Group made when they first came to Wuhan on December 31-South China History of market exposure, doing whole-genome sequencing. Clinic doctor Zhiyong Peng believes that this harsh standard will miss real patients and ignore the possibility of passing on people.

At the Wuhan Central Hospital, on January 10, Wenliang Li, an ophthalmologist, developed symptoms of cough and fever. At this time, a large number of suspected infections appeared in the hospital.

On the same day that Dr. Li Wenliang developed symptoms, his colleagues started putting on gowns based on masks. However, it was later discovered that these measures were done too late and at least 230 hospital staff in the hospital were diagnosed with the infection.

Jun Lu, a doctor at the Tongji Hospital in Wuhan
Jun Lu, a doctor at the Tongji Hospital in Wuhan

On the afternoon of January 10th, Jun Lu, an emergency doctor at the Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, was transferred to the hospital to support the fever. He had fever symptoms of “no obvious cause” on January 5th, and his right lung CT film was flaky. In the glass shadow, plaques and ground glass-like lesions appeared in both the right and left lungs on a re-examination on January 7. He was diagnosed with unexplained viral pneumonia and developed into a critically ill patient.

Also on January 10, Yunhua Li, a doctor at Xinhua Hospital, saw a total of 30 cases of CT of the lungs, all of which have worn-out glass-like lungs. He said that he had never seen such a rapidly growing disease and doubled every few days. Subsequently, a second medical infection occurred in the hospital.

Guangfa Wang, a member of the expert group
Guangfa Wang, a member of the expert group

The symptoms of a large number of medical personnel did not seem to have attracted the attention of the expert group of the Health and Medical Commission. On January 10, Guangfa Wang, a member of the expert group, said in an interview with the media that the patient’s condition and overall epidemic situation are under control. But the next day, the curve of the onset of infection began to rise sharply. Guangfa Wang’s group of experts arrived in Wuhan on the 8th and left on the 16th.

Later, Guangfa Wang was also infected. He insisted to the reporter of China Youth Daily that the information available at that time was relatively limited. From the limited information, there was no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission.

Something happened on January 10

A woman living in Wuhan returned to her hometown in Anyang, Henan on the same day. She did not show symptoms of infection for more than two weeks after returning home, but her parents and three other family members were diagnosed successively.

A family of four applied for a visa to Europe in Wuhan on the same day and ate food near the South China Seafood Market. Later, they flew back to Shanghai from France and were isolated as suspected cases. The family of four was diagnosed with an infection and 29 people on the plane were closed, 3 of them were infected.

An 80-year-old Hong Kong man entered the Luohu Pass on the same day and entered the Mainland for several hours. A week later he flew to Japan and boarded the “Princess Diamond”, and he was the first infected person on this “terror cruise ship”. So far there have been more than 400 infected people on the cruise ship. The epidemiologist still hasn’t figured out where the old man’s illness came from.

Diamond Princess
Diamond Princess

Beyond politically busy local officials and optimistic experts, people who did not realize that the danger was walking freely, passed the virus to their families, Wuhan, the whole country.

According to a later press briefing by Mayxin Chen, deputy mayor of Wuhan, Wuhan did not start the control of departure personnel until January 14. However, according to interviews by Caixin and other media, many people did not take the temperature or see the relevant slogans at the dock.

A month later, the main leading cadres at the two levels in Hubei and Wuhan at the time, as well as the party secretary and director of the Hubei Health and Medical Committee, were all dismissed.

January 10 is a sandwiched day

It is in the gap between the two levels of the two sessions in Wuhan and Hubei; it is in the middle of the two emergency responses of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the level 2 response was 5 days ago and the level 1 response after 5 days; it is the last day of the second cycle of China’s disease control epidemic cycle classification, and the day before the third outbreak cycle; it is also the start of the Spring Festival, after that, the flow of people in the stations began to increase significantly.

If that day, the opinions of grassroots doctors are valued; if that day, experts from Beijing can make accurate judgments based on facts; if that day, the information reporting mechanism for disease control is smooth and transparent; if that day, someone appeals Wuhan citizens put on masks; if that day, the local officials take responsibility and take appropriate measures…

Perhaps the epidemic will not cause so much damage, and not so many families will be broken as a result.

However, history cannot be repeated!

Avatar photo
Nancy Huang
I'm a journalist in Shenzhen, China. I have been working in several news agencies in China since 2008.



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