China withheld key information about the coronavirus for weeks after it first emerged in January, delaying the international response to the outbreak, a new investigation has revealed.
Chinese officials failed to share the genetic map, or genome, of the virus for over a week after first decoding it and failed to reveal that the virus could be transmitted between humans for a further two weeks, according to internal World Health Organization documents and testimony obtained by the Associated Press.
The AP reported on Tuesday that while scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology decoded the virus on January 2, Chinese health officials did not publish the details of their findings until over a week later, on January 12.
It wasn’t until January 20 that the Chinese state alerted the World Health Organization and other governments that the virus could pass between people, according to the Associated Press investigation.
This was only after a laboratory in Shanghai led by scientist Zhang Yongzhen published the information a day earlier. (Read more from “Leaked Documents Reveal China Withheld Crucial Information About the Coronavirus at the Start of the Outbreak” HERE)