As many other countries brace for an explosion of coronavirus cases, China reported zero new local infections on March 18.
However, three reports recently received by Minghui.org present a different story and suggest that the data provided by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is unreliable.
Quotas for Infections
An insider revealed that all provinces were given quotas of new infections and deaths. Once the quotas were met, no more cases were allowed to be reported.
This insider said his province had not reported any new cases since mid-February, when the quota was reached. He said, “Even though there are still newly confirmed coronavirus cases, the information is kept confidential and the patients are reclassified as regular flu cases.”
The insider said there were still dozens of confirmed and suspected cases at a local isolation hospital and many more in local hotels as of the end of February. But officials had declared there were no new patients since everyone had been released upon recovery.
“It has been the same with March data so far,” the insider wrote. “An outpatient doctor identified several coronavirus patients through radiography. To prevent the pandemic cases from increasing, officials skipped DNA testing and treated them as regular pneumonia.”
The insider said coronavirus patients need to be reported and would have their medical fees paid for by the government, while those with regular pneumonia would pay their own fees and would not need to be reported even if they die.
Frankie Huang, an American writer, found this odd. In a letter to The New York Times on February 7, 2020, she described her experience of being quarantined in Shanghai. “Yesterday, I saw on social media that someone noticed that the ratio in the official figures for the total dead to the total diagnosed cases has remained exactly 2.1 percent every day since Jan. 30. ‘This magical virus is very good at math!’” she wrote.
Huang said she felt her face crumple as she stared at the numbers. “I had forgotten that every piece of news must be examined for how it is being used to strengthen the regime’s rule. Even in these times of life and death, I couldn’t be exempted from this exhausting exercise, which the party is perpetually playing for keeps,” she continued.
Whether to Resume Business
After the major economic blow from the outbreak, the CCP needs people to return to work so as to restore the economy and to depict the image that the outbreak is over.
“Several factories in my area that produce raw materials and key products were ordered to reopen. In the meantime, they are required to sign guarantees to stop clusters of infections from happening in their plants. Otherwise, they would be punished,” wrote another Minghui.org reader.
A government contractor was required to resume operations. The contractor knew the pandemic was still rampant and refused to reopen, citing force majeure (that is, natural and unavoidable catastrophes) specified in the contract.
Local officials said that since the number of new coronavirus cases had remained zero for several days in that province, it would no longer be considered a catastrophe and that any delay would result in a huge penalty. Because of the virus, however, the contractor had trouble finding enough workers and raw materials in a short time.
In another construction project, the business owner was forced to resume operations and keep all his workers in the construction site. The workers would not be allowed to leave until the project was completed. The purpose was to prevent any infected workers from transmitting the virus to people outside the construction site.
Not every business has been allowed to resume operations, though. Some non-essential businesses remain closed. Many small businesses are struggling to stay afloat.
New Cases “Vanished”
According to data released in China, the number of coronavirus patients dropped quickly. For example, Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang Province, has reported no new cases since February 22, 2020. According to reports received by Minghui.org, however, the city is still under strict lockdown.
Zhao Gang, head of the Xiangfang District, and Yu Jun, head of Wuchang City, were removed from their posts on February 21, 2020, after coronavirus cases were reported in their regions. No new cases were reported since then.
“China’s coronavirus messaging isn’t about truth, but rather the advancement of a multiheaded information warfare effort,” wrote an article in Washington Examiner on March 17, 2020, with a title of “China’s coronavirus information warfare hydra.”