Chinese premier Li Keqiang has warned local governments not to cover up new cases of Covid-19, as low daily rates of infection prompted the relaxing of travel restrictions in Hubei province, where the pandemic started. Li’s comments came as analysts questioned the veracity of China’s claims that the nation has had several days with no new domestic cases.
Speaking to a meeting of the central leading group responding to the outbreak on Monday, Li urged officials to report honestly on the number of cases, and “not cover up reports for the sake of keeping new case numbers at zero”.Li said worldwide analysis of the virus showed the virus was unlikely to dissipate like Sars. He warned that while the epidemic in Hubei and Wuhan had essentially been stopped, there were still risks of sporadic outbreaks.
“[We] Have to realise the prevention measure - ‘early detection, reporting, isolation and treatment’, to stop the epidemic in certain areas and prevent an even bigger outbreak.” For several days now China has reported few or zero new domestic cases of Covid-19 infection, claiming success in controlling the outbreak which just one month ago saw thousands of confirmations a day.