Whether the Coronavirus originated in Wuhan or not -- it has become the most debatable topic on social media after recent comments from several well-known personalities including Nobel-winning French scientist Luc Montagnier. But there are other mistakes made by the world leaders which should be counted for the damage made by Coronavirus pandemic.
Started as an outbreak, Coronavirus turned into a pandemic within three months. It will be wrong if someone says that no-one saw it coming. US and China, two superpowers of this modern world, were warned by researchers, doctors and officials, but instead of understanding the seriousness of the virus outbreak, they initially tried to hide facts and then started playing the blame game. Meanwhile, other countries started getting affected by the virus.
Coronavirus origin From Wuhan lab
In an exclusive report by Fox News it was mentioned that as per an unnamed source, though the stain of the virus occurs naturally in bats and is not a bioweapon, the virus was studied in China's Wuhan Institute of Virology. The report alleged that the new strain of Coronavirus was accidentally leaked by an intern, patient-zero working at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. The lab staff was accidentally infected before spreading the disease among the common people outside the lab in Wuhan.
As per another report on Wuhan lab, the researcher Shi Zhengli, nicknamed as "Bat Woman" at China's virology institution is said to have sequenced the genes of the new coronavirus in three days after the Coronavirus outbreak hit the country but when she raised her concern, she was silenced by her superior. While conducting the research on the virus, researchers indicated that China's size, population and biodiversity could propel the spread of the potential bug.
After the virus started infecting Wuhan people and hospitals started noticing a surge in unknown pneumonia-like cases, the whistle-blower Li Wenliang tried to alert people about the COVID-19 outbreak but was initially punished by local authorities as they said the doctor was spreading rumours. The Wuhan doctor died in February after being infected by the deadly virus. The Director of the emergency department at Wuhan Central Hospital, Ai Fen, first posted information about the new Coronavirus on WeChat but she was also silenced by the local authorities and now no one knows where she is.
Coronavirus pandemic: No one saw it coming?
In a recent report, it was revealed that US intelligence officials were aware of a mysterious contagion spreading through China's Wuhan, at least since November. This report was based on analysis of wire and computer intercepts, coupled with satellite images and was important as the disease could have posed a threat to the US troops stationed in Asia. A source said it was then briefed multiple times to the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon's Joint Staff and the White House.
In January, US President Donald Trump and his government received reports from intelligence when the outbreak was about to hit the country but Trump took it so lightly. Later, on several occasion, he compared the virus with flu and also continued to tell people that with warmer weather the virus' effect will be reduced and the situation will become better. Americans have started to raise their voice against the lies delivered by US government and started Twitter trends like #TrumpIsTheWORSTPresidentEVER, #TrumpLiesAmericansDie and #TrumpVirus.
Meanwhile, China jeopardize the safety of the citizens as Wuhan authorities allowed a mass banquet for tens of thousands of people and millions of Chinese nationals began their annual trip for the Lunar New Year celebrations. As per reports, six days earlier top Chinese authorities understood that they are probably facing a pandemic but still they allowed mass gathering and did not put travel restrictions.
For months Wuhan authorities also did not reveal that the virus can be transmitted from human to human. Reports also revealed that now the Chinese government is trying to monitor research on COVID-19, as new regulation claimed that all research report related to the origin of new Coronavirus will first be checked by Science and technology before publishing.
Even in Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro denied the seriousness of the pandemic and continued the downplaying of COVID-19. He cast doubt on the death toll in Sao Paolo and blamed the state governor for the manipulation of the numbers for political means. Last Friday, called for the reopening of the nation's borders as the Brazilian leader takes a step forward to restart the largest economy of South America.
During an interview, he also said that the death toll in Sao Paolo seemed far too big to be realistic. "I'm sorry, some people will die, they will die, that's life." As of now, Brazil has reported 36,925 Coronavirus cases and over 2,300 fatalities.
Japan, which was supposed to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, reported its first COVID-19 death in early February and at that time there were more than 40 Coronavirus cases. Neither International Olympic Committee (IOC) nor Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe wanted to cancel the world sports event. It was only last months after the Canada Olympic team withdrew from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Japan finally realized that the condition is not safe to host a big event like this and finally after a discussion between IOC and Japan the game was called off.
On Friday, the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe made an appeal to stay indoors and avoid the spread of the coronavirus. But recently his wife came under fire on social media over a report she visited a shrine last month with about 50 people, adding to public disapproval of how the premier has handled the coronavirus crisis.
Europe became the epicentre
The director-general of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced Europe as the epicentre of the Coronavirus in March that was emerged in China's Wuhan. That time he also urged countries to use aggressive measures, community mobilisation and social distancing to save lives. Soon the virus paralyzed European countries, especially Spain, France, Italy and Germany. Meanwhile, the UK also started reporting a daily rise in Coronavirus cases which then began affecting politicians as well as Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was also admitted in a London hospital after the virus symptoms became worse.
On Friday, WHO said that Africa could become the next epicentre of the pandemic as there was a sharp rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the past week. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO's Africa director told the BBC that the organisation had witnessed the virus spreading from capital cities to "the hinterland" in South Africa, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Ghana.