China sacked senior officials over coronavirus outbreak

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 13, 2020, 08.29 PM(IST)

File photo: Coronavirus Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

China has more than 42,200 confirmed cases and the number of deaths from COVID-19 has far exceeded those of the SARS epidemic in 2003.

Several senior officials have been removed from office by China due to their improper handling of the coronavirus outbreak. Preceding was the death toll of people falling victim to the COVID-19, which passed 1,000 at a horrifyingly brisk pace.

Head of the Hubei Health Commission and the Party Secretary are two of the most senior officials to have been demoted. The office of the Deputy Director of the local Red Cross has also been vacated over charges of "dereliction of duty" over "handling of donations".

China has more than 42,200 confirmed cases and the number of deaths from COVID-19 has far exceeded those of the SARS epidemic in 2003. In Hubei alone, there were 103 corpses which broke the record for deaths per day and the national death toll now rests at 1,016.

Thankfully, new infections on a national scale have gone down 20 per cent, falling from 3,062 to 2,478 and a statement has been issued by leading Chinese respiratory expert and scientist Zhong Nanshan who said that the virus was hitting a peak in China this month. He added that outbreak may be over by April.

The basis of his optimistic forecast was on mathematical modelling, recent events and government action. That Zhong's previous forecast of an earlier peak turned out to be premature is a fact which should be taken into consideration when evaluating his recent prediction.

Wuhan Bureau of Statistics also had their Deputy Head terminated for "violating relevant regulations to distribute face masks."

The backlash to China's firing-spree

Criticism of the Chinese government has been on the rise following the slew of terminations and for poor management of the crisis. Exacerbating the whole fiasco was the death of a doctor whose early warnings were suppressed by authorities, and has now sparked widespread public anger.

Hubei's provincial capital of Wuhan has a population of 11 million, has registered more than three-quarters of the deaths and has been on lockdown for weeks.

Medical staff have been sent to the city by Chinese authorities in droves, with doctors and nurses shaving their heads to wear protective clothing.
Warnings from Health Officials state that medical facilities in rural areas across the country are inadequate.

How the world is dealing with COVID-19

Government-chartered flights were enlisted to evacuated two Japanese citizens from Wuhan who have reportedly tested positive for the virus after previously testing negative and later developing symptoms.

Japan's port of Yokohama still harbours the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship upon which 135 confirmed cases rest among 3,700 passengers and crew. 

Passengers were reportedly barred from disembarking by Thailand from a different cruise ship even though there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 aboard.

Hundreds of workers have been sent by North Korea to patrol its borders with China, both rail and road. China-North Korea air links have been severed and the nation has not reported any infections, though the neighbouring South Korean media has reportedly said that the virus has reached the secretive police state.