Xi Jinping to visit Wuhan for first time since outbreak

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According to Ming Pao today, sources in Beijing told that Xi Jinping plans to visit Wuhan, Hubei in the following days to inspect the epidemic prevention and control work.

Xi has rarely appeared at public events despite claiming he is “in charge” of disease prevention and control during World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’s visit to Beijing on Jan. 28.

When Xi Jinping met with WHO Director-General Tan Desai in Beijing on January 28, he said, “I have been directing and deploying the epidemic prevention and control work.” On the same day, they visited the communities and scientific research institutions in Beijing, and addressed the epidemic prevention work, but not on the front line. There is still not a set date when Xi Jinping will go to Wuhan.

Ming Pao reported yesterday, When Vice-premier Sun Chunlan inspected Wuhan, many local residents under quarantine in high buildings shouted, “All is fake!”

The report said that “Sun Chunlan immediately requested an investigation into the incident, emphasizing the elimination of formalism and bureaucracy.”

Sun Chunlan went to Kaiyuan Mansion in the estate of Cuiyuan Community in Qingshan District of Wuhan yesterday morning to inspect the community’s prevention, control work and the living conditions of the people.

A short video on the Internet showed that many residents called out “fake, all fake” from upstairs. A WeChat account “Tao Ran Notes”, said to be a government propaganda machine, reported that the residents mainly complained about a fake volunteer delivery of vegetables and meat to the residents, adding that it is even difficult for locals to buy meat or vegetables in a reasonable price. They said that was only a propaganda show put up by the local government.

China’s claims of how it’s handling coronavirus recovery should be taken with more than a few grains of salt, according to the Week Magazine.

Even before COVID-19 became a global crisis, Chinese leaders had been criticized for their handling of the situation and lack of transparency about the disease’s progression. Things now look like they’re on the upswing, and businesses even appear to be headed back to work — but whistleblowers and local officials tell Caixin that’s just a carefully crafted ruse.

Beijing has spent much of the outbreak pushing districts to carry on business as usual, with some local governments subsidizing electricity costs and even installing mandatory productivity quotas. Zhejiang, an province east of the epicenter city of Wuhan, claimed as of Feb. 24 it had restored 98.6 percent of its pre-coronavirus work capacity.

But civil servants tell Caixin that businesses are actually faking these numbers. Beijing had started checking Zhejiang businesses’ electricity consumption levels, so district officials ordered the companies to start leaving their lights and machinery on all day to drive the numbers up, one civil servant said. Businesses have reportedly falsified staff attendance logs as well — they “would rather waste a small amount of money on power than irritate local officials,” Caixin writes.

Ming Pao said that for security reasons, Xi Jinping will inspect the work of the police and meet with the police communities. Beijing sources said Xi plans to visit Wuhan and is expected to go to Jinyintan first.

According to sources, although the central government has not yet determined that the epidemic turning point has arrived, the spread of the epidemic has eased. Then it’s time for Xi to go for a visit.

Sources said that Xi is expected to inspect Jinyintan Hospital, the first hospital to receive patients, Wuhan’s Vulcan Mountain Hospital and Thunderbolt Hospital.

Xi will be making a stop at government-run Wuhan Institute of Virology, which became the center of international attention following speculation in Chinese social media that the lab was the source of the virus, and that the outbreak began among its lab technicians as early as December.

In addition, Xi Jinping will also enter the community to express condolences to local residents in Wuhan. But to prevent accidents, the government will choose to arrange the visit in a police community or the civil servants community.

By Winnie Troppie

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