A small change in the coronavirus timeline on the official website of World Health Organisation (WHO) is being highlighted as the agency's admission that China did not report coronavirus outbreak. The initial position of the WHO has been suggesting that China had indeed reported news of the outbreak. However, new information has everyone thinking about the issue.
The Washington Examiner, a weekly magazine in the US has reported the news.
What has changed on the WHO website?
WHO maintains a timeline of coronavirus pandemic from its early stages when it was limited to Wuhan City in China's Hubei province.
The OLD entry in this timeline reads:
December 31, 2019: Wuhan Municipal Health Commission, China, reported a cluster of cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, Hubei Province. A novel coronavirus was eventually identified.
The CHANGED entry reads:
December 31, 2019: WHO’s Country Office in the People’s Republic of China picked up a media statement by the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission from their website on cases of ‘viral pneumonia’ in Wuhan, People’s Republic of China.
What does this mean?
Earlier entry says that Chinese authorities "reported" the initial outbreak.
But the changed entry says that the WHO "picked up" a media statement. This may mean that WHO was not officially intimated of the outbreak by the Chinese authorities.
Many are of the opinion that had coronavirus outbreak been contained in Chinese provinces, the virus would not have wreaked havoc in the world as a global pandemic.
US President Donald Trump has been alleging that WHO had been "soft" on China as a result of which the "Chinese virus" spread to other countries. The change on WHO's website may give more fodder to those believing this argument.
Donald Trump has already gone to the length of severing ties with WHO. However, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently said that the USA was still a member of WHO.