Read in browser
I decided to make today’s issue of the newsletter free. If you like what you see please sign up for the Sinocism China Newsletter here. Group and education discounts are available.
There are still no signs the outbreak is close to coming under control.
Here are the latest official figures on virus cases in China from Caixin:
28,060 confirmed cases;
24,702 suspected cases;
1,153 have recovered
Social media is blowing up over the news that Wuhan whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang has died. This is from the Global Times, in a now deleted report:
Chinese doctor Li Wenliang, one of the eight whistleblowers who tried to warn other medics of the coronavirus outbreak but were reprimanded by local police, dies of coronavirus on Thursday in Wuhan, the Global Times has learned.
But in a morbid twist it appears that the relevant authorities, probably after seeing the online uproar, may not be allowing him to die officially yet. There has been quite the back and forth about whether or not he has actually passed. I saw reports from The Global Times, Caixin and The Beijing News that he had died; those are now gone. If they got it wrong then heads will role for making such a consequential “political error”. But from other reports on Wechat it sounds like the order came from above to keep him “alive”. It is all just so dark.
The reports of Li’s death, true or not, are crystallizing deep anger and frustration. The Party’s social contract with the people—-ensuring the people’s well being and providing ever-increasing economic prosperity-is being stressed on a nationwide level in ways I don’t recall in the past several decades. Last Friday I wrote that “this is as close to an existential crisis for Xi and the Party that I think we have seen since 1989”, and I think it is even more so a week later.
“Epidemic fighting hero Li Wenliang”
This is a long issue, I recommend you click on the headline at the top of the email to read it in your browser. Thanks for reading.
The Essential Eight
1. The outbreak
WHO says too early to say coronavirus peaking in China - Reuters
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday it was too early to say that China’s coronavirus outbreak was peaking, but noted that Wednesday was the first day that the overall number of new cases in China had dropped.
Coronavirus epicenter faces severe test as actual number of infections still unknown - Global Times
The numbers of confirmed cases in Wuhan keep growing every day, which does not, however, reflect the whole picture as analysts do not know the exact number of infections. Medical supplies could not meet the rising demand for treatment, heavily weighing on the battle against the spread of the disease.
Currently, there are 28 novel coronavirus-designated hospitals with 8,524 beds in Wuhan. A total of 8,182 patients are in these hospitals, Hu Lishan, deputy Party secretary of Wuhan, said during a press conference
The Chinese city of Nanchang, capital of Jiangxi province, will strictly monitor the entry and exit of residents from villages and residential compounds as it steps up its efforts to control the spread of a coronavirus outbreak.
The city, which has a population of 5 million people, said on its official Weibo social media account that each family should assign one member to go out once every two days, and that people running fevers must go to a medical facility.
Opinion: China’s Battle Against Coronavirus Could Still Go Either Way - Caixin Global
At present, we still need to wait another week to see the results of the first stage of prevention and control measures. If there’s no sign of a turning point, it means that the situation remains critical, and returning to life as normal — such as by reopening schools and workplaces — might only serve to continuously boost the number of second-generation cases.
© 2020 Sinocism LLC Unsubscribe
PO Box 720263, San Francisco, CA 94172