China’s state-run Xinhua news agency has released its official timeline of the coronavirus pandemic, from the original outbreak in mainland China to its global spread by March 31.
Full of praise for the government’s efforts to control the outbreak, the lengthy timeline makes no mention of international criticism of the country’s secrecy around the first cases of the virus nor their official response.
“Upholding the vision of building a community with a shared future for humanity, China has been timely releasing information on Covid-19 since the onset of the epidemic in an open, transparent and responsible manner,” the timeline said.
According to Xinhua, the outbreak was first detected in late December 2019, contradicting reports from the Wuhan health authorities who said cases were found as early as December 12.
There is no early mention of doctor Li Wenliang’s attempts to raise awareness of the virus on December 30 or how he was summoned to a police station on January 3, where he had to sign a statement promising not to commit further “unlawful acts.”
The timeline only reports that Wuhan announced a pneumonia outbreak in the city on December 31.
Li, who died of the coronavirus in February, is mentioned once in the official timeline on March 19, when the Wuhan Public Security Bureau officially apologized and revoked his reprimand letter. Why he was reprimanded is not mentioned.
The timeline explicitly says that China began to inform the United States about the outbreak on January 3.