Chilling moment Wuhan medics admit being told to lie about Covid before pandemic

Doctors at Wuhan hospitals have claimed they knew about the high transmission of coronavirus and were told to cover up the truth by local government officials.

One medic said they knew about the disease as early as December 2019 and made suggestions to governments to call off the Chinese New Year celebrations, but his pleas were rejected.

In secretly filmed footage that will be shown in ITV's documentary, Outbreak: The Virus That Shook The World tonight, the senior medical professionals from the virus' epicentre discussed the very first cases.

One staff member says: "We all felt that there shouldn't have any doubt about human-to-human transmission."

Another said he knew someone close got infected by coronavirus way before it spread exponentially in the city.

He explains: "Actually at end of December or beginning of January, the relative of someone I know died of this virus.

"Many of those living with him were also infected, including people I know."

A male doctor then revealed that the government officials told them to lie about the virus in a hospital meeting.

"We knew the virus transmitted from human-to-human but when we attended a hospital meeting, we were told not to speak out," he says.

"Provincial government leaders told the hospital not to tell the truth.

"They shouldn't have allowed any gatherings, the provincial and local governments knew the threat but they continued to allow crowds."

Dr Li Wenliang, known as the whistle blower doctor, and his seven colleagues were punished for warning about Covid-19 as early as December, saying he had examined a patient with symptoms similar to SARS.

He later died from the virus himself and, in his heartbreaking last words sent on WeChat, he wrote: "Today the nucleic acid test result is positive, the dust has settled and the diagnosis has finally been confirmed."

An international team led by the World Health Organisation arrived in Wuhan on Thursday as WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that "no one should be in any doubt that this is a scientific exercise" to understand how the virus emerged.

The team was expected to investigate the animal market linked to an early cluster of cases, but it is no longer thought that this was necessarily where the virus jumped from animals to humans.

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