Washington [US], February 7 (ANI): With China reporting just 25 new cases of coronavirus cases on the mainland, experts have accused Beijing of continuing to lie and being opaque about information pertaining to the virus.
Fox News cited views by a University of Southern California professor who specializes in Chinese politics to understand whether the communist government, which has been widely accused of downplaying the virus when it first came out of Wuhan in late 2019, and of trying to hide its origin and suppress its numbers, could still be lying about the actual number of cases.
Professor Stanley Rosen told Fox News in an email that "any inaccuracies would likely be coming from local officials who report to the central government."
"I would think that even if the statistics are not completely accurate, they do suggest that China is doing a reasonably good job of controlling further outbreaks," said Rosen.
The China specialist added that Beijing government does not include asymptomatic cases as confirmed cases, but even those numbers have been very low.
"China is very opaque when it comes to transparency, so it's always hard to know how accurate their reported statistical data is, and there seems to be little question that when Covid first broke out in Wuhan, and for a considerable time afterwards, the number of deaths from Covid was seriously underreported," he said.
Dr Stephen E. Hawes, the chair of the University of Washington's epidemiology department expressed that China was "rightfully criticized for withholding information globally" early on in the pandemic "and also for suppressing information and being slow to respond to the outbreak within China."
"Throughout most of the pandemic, reported numbers from China have included only confirmed cases, as opposed to a more broad case definition including clinically diagnosed (but not laboratory-confirmed) cases; this also would lead to an undercounting and underreporting of cases," he added in an email to Fox News.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken this week reiterated his predecessor Mike Pompeo's call to hold China accountable for the spread of COVID-19 across the world saying, Beijing has to step up and make sure it is being transparent about the deadly virus.
In an interview with Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC 'Andrea Mitchell Reports', Blinken said that the Chinese government's 'failure' in sharing and providing pertinent information regarding the deadly virus is something "we must address".
"There is no doubt that, especially when COVID-19 first hit but even today, China is falling far short of the mark when it comes to providing the information necessary to the international community, making sure that experts have access to China. All of the - that lack of transparency, that lack of being forthcoming, is a profound problem and it's one that continues," he said in the interview according to an official transcript provided by the US Department of State.
"China has to step up and make sure that it is being transparent, that it is providing information and sharing information... Its failure to do that is a real problem that we have to address," he added.
Then US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, previously, said that the pandemic was avoidable adding that Beijing did not reveal vital information about the virus, which would have helped scientists to save the world from the disease.
China has been criticised widely across the world for its alleged role in the spread of the novel coronavirus that has infected over 100 million people across the world. More than two million people have lost their lives to the virus. While some accuse it of being complicit, others deem it culpable in the spread. (ANI)