WUHAN VIRUS: BEIJING'S RESPONSE

Leaders still reluctant to loosen grip on info

Unlike during the Sars outbreak, China acted swiftly to inform the World Health Organisation about the 2019-nCoV virus. But inside the country, information about the outbreak was not made available as quickly.
Unlike during the Sars outbreak, China acted swiftly to inform the World Health Organisation about the 2019-nCoV virus. But inside the country, information about the outbreak was not made available as quickly.PHOTO: REUTERS

Inevitably, parallels are being drawn between the Chinese government’s handling of the Wuhan virus outbreak and that of Sars, another deadly coronavirus epidemic that began in China and spread to 26 countries 17 years ago.

The first cases of Sars broke out in Guangdong province in November 2002, but the World Health Organisation (WHO) was notified only in February 2003. The severity of the situation was made known only in April, by which time the Sars virus had claimed many victims, in China and overseas.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 02, 2020, with the headline 'Leaders still reluctant to loosen grip on info'. Print Edition | Subscribe