Chinese doctor accuses officials of destroying COVID-19 evidence in Wuhan market

Professor Kwok-Yung Yuen, who helped to investigate in Wuhan, told the BBC that physical evidence was destroyed and the response to clinical findings was slow.

A Chinese doctor, who diagnosed early coronavirus cases in China, has accused the local authorities of a cover-up of the initial scale of the outbreak at the epicentre Wuhan, saying the evidence was already destroyed when they went for investigation, according to a media report.

Speaking to the BBC, Professor Kwok-Yung Yuen, a microbiologist, physician and surgeon in Hong Kong, who helped to investigate the COVID-19 outbreak in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, said the physical evidence at the Huanan wildlife market was destroyed and the response to clinical findings was slow.

“When we went to the Huanan supermarket, of course, there was nothing to see because the market was clean already. So, you may say that the crime scene is already disturbed because the supermarket was cleared. We cannot identify any host which is giving the virus to humans,” Yuen quoted as saying.

“I do suspect that they have been doing some cover-up locally at Wuhan. The local officials who are supposed to immediately relay the information have not allowed this to be done as readily as it should,” the Professor told the BBC.

Several countries, including the US, have criticized China for not divulging information about the severity of the disease. 

China has been criticized for its initial response to the outbreak, and for penalizing a doctor who tried to warn colleagues about the virus in late December. In response, China has repeatedly denied accusations that it withheld information about the severity of its outbreak.

It is also accused of berated Dr Li Wenliang and other whistleblowers in Wuhan who tried to warn medics about the deadly virus. Li, who was the first to report about the virus in December last year, contracted the disease and died in February.

 The coronavirus originated from the Huanan wildlife market in Wuhan in December last year and has globally infected over 16 million people and claimed the lives of more than 656,849 people and bringing the world economy to a standstill.

According to the Johns Hopkins data, China has recorded 86,570 Covid-19 cases and 4,652 deaths.

Although the virus originated in China, the country has only reported fewer cases and deaths compared to the other countries, like the US which currently accounts for the highest number of infections and fatalities.

As of Monday, China reported 86,570 coronavirus cases, with 4,652 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

The USA takes the first place in the number of cases stood at 4,433,410 with 150,444 fatalities.

Brazil is the second worst-hit country with 2,446,397 cases and 87,737 fatalities.

India is the third worst-hit country with 1,484,136 cases currently and 33,461 fatalities.

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