Coronavirus and distortion of facts by Media

Beijing has confirmed more than 10,000 infected cases as Coronavirus has spread from the landlocked province in Central China Hubei to every of China’s 31 provinces. Coronavirus has now killed 1000 people in China and has spread to dozens of other countries. The Philippines authorities have confirmed the death of a 44-year-old man on Sunday, February 02, 2020. It is reported as the first death case outside China. The Philippines authorities have imposed a complete travel ban on people from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

At initial stages, most of the news related to Coronavirus was coming from media outside China. Mainstream media outlets in the Honking were comparing the virus with the SARS virus of 2003, which resulted in thousands of deaths all across the world.

The first official case of the Coronavirus was confirmed on December 08, 2019. On January 01, Police in Wuhan arrested 8 people for spreading online rumors. All the arrested people were medical professionals and they were predicting a SARS type virus that has human to human transformation abilities. On January 18, Wuhan hosted a dinner for more than forty thousand families unaware of the contagious nature of the virus. On January 23, Chinese authorities shut down the city of Wuhan to stop the possible spread of Coronavirus.

During this phase, the Beijing authorities were monitoring and censoring news related to the outbreak on both mainstream and social media. Beijing controlled national and local media outlets were focusing on the visit of Xi Jinping to Myanmar and other local news stories. At initial stages, most of the news related to Coronavirus was coming from media outside China. Mainstream media outlets in the Honking were comparing the virus with the SARS virus of 2003, which resulted in thousands of deaths all across the world.

It took almost 40 days for the Beijing media to stop downplaying the seriousness of the outbreak and start providing accurate and reliable information that can save lives. But by that time it was too late as millions of people at that stage had passed through the affected region, unaware of the dangerous and contagious nature of the Coronavirus.

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