Chinese President Xi Jinping knew about the corona virus much earlier than previously thought. He already ordered on January 7 to control the outbreak of the new lung virus at a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Chinese Politburo. All this is apparent from a speech by Xi that Chinese state media have published. Xi’s first public statements about corona were only on January 23.
On that day, the Chinese authorities banned all trips to and from Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak. In the intervening period thousands of people had already travelled in and out of the provincial capital, not only to destinations within China but also intercontinental. Xi says he himself had already ordered the 22nd to close Wuhan to the outside world.
Recently the young eye doctor died who first raised the alarm about the new corona virus. Li Wenliang reported the new virus to colleagues on 30 December. Not much later, he was blamed by the authorities for “spreading false information and rumours over the internet.” He became infected himself and died on 7 February.