[The Organization for World Peace] Military Doctors Deployed to Wuhan To Combat Deadly Coronavirus
On 2 February 2020, the death of an infected Wuhan resident abroad in the Philippines has come as a shock to the entire world, marking the first officially confirmed death caused by coronavirus outside of China, CNN reports. On 4 February 2020, a 39 year old man from Hong Kong became the second international casualty of this prolific and relentless disease.
The Chinese media agency Xinhua reported that the state has deployed 1,400 doctors and other medical personnel to treat victims of the deadly coronavirus. With the death toll rising at a catastrophic rate, these medical professionals will be staffed at the brand new Huoshenshan hospital in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the coronavirus is believed to have originated from. According to NBC, the hospital, which was completed after just 10 days of construction, has the capacity to house 1,000 beds. It is equipped with intensive care units and sections for both diagnosis, and quarantine. A second hospital with the capability to hold 1,300 patients is also expected to open soon. NBC has also reported that the deployed medical team consists of several individuals who have past experience treating severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which spread throughout China in the early 2000s, and the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
However, as the coronavirus continues to spread at an alarming rate around the world, China has proved that they are incapable of effectively containing the viral outbreak. As of Friday morning, 14 February 2020, there have been over 30,000 reported cases and 600 deaths in mainland China, a number which in all likelihood will continue to rise. Far off regions in Europe, Australia and North America are reporting cases of coronavirus as well, illustrating how this outbreak is becoming a global pandemic. The World Health Organization has responded by declaring a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) and the U.S. State Department has issued a level four advisory warning for Americans to avoid entering China.
Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital, first discovered the threat of the virus in December 2019 after treating several patients suffering from "a virus that he thought looked like SARS." However, after warning his colleagues and fellow doctors, he was taken in for questioning by the Public Security Bureau, accused of "making false comments." He was ultimately forced into silence. As Wenliang continued to treat other patients who had similar symptoms over the next week, he developed a cough and fever. Before long, he was brought into intensive care after having contracted the coronavirus himself. Ten days later, the National Health Commission declared an emergency as the virus spread to a point where the Chinese government could no longer deny its presence. Ultimately, Wenliang's story perfectly illustrates China's inability to govern their people in a safe and secure manner.
Late Thursday evening, 4 February 2020, the New York Times confirmed Wenliang's death, causing an inevitable spark of outrage across China. Many citizens accused the government for "downplaying the severity of the virus." Two trending hashtags emerged: "Wuhan government owes Dr. Li Wenliang an apology," and "we want freedom of speech." They have now been censored. While Xi Jinping has made a point of ordering "all-out efforts" to combat the outbreak, he has been noticeably absent from the public eye amidst the political unrest. Lily Kuo of the Guardian describes this of being especially peculiar "for a leader whose face and words decorate banners and signs across the country and feature in the state media daily," and that this "low-key approach during a time of national crisis seems out of character."
Likely, Xi is seeking to deflect the public's criticism and "set up other officials to take the inevitable blame for the crisis," writes James Griffiths of CNN. Since stepping away from photographers and reporters, the "state media have portrayed him as in command from a distance," which may offer a clearer glimpse of his true motive for deploying military doctors to Wuhan. Ultimately, he is desperate for some sort of positive coverage during this political disarray, knowing full well of the public's anger and demand for action after having embarrassingly failed to ensure their safety.
It is clear that the time has come for the Xi regime to step aside. Xi's fear of political insecurity and desperation to retain control of power has led to devastating global consequences as the coronavirus continues to infect the world's population. The people of China must take the initiative and demand change. So far, several courageous voices have bravely stepped forward on the Chinese social media site Weibo. One user called for young people in China to "stand up" and that "the power of change is with you." However, in order for such change to occur, more Chinese citizens will need to spiritedly follow suit.
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