The novel coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan in late December where it was listed as “pneumonia of unknown cause”, China said on Monday as it published an official timeline of the detection and control of COVID-19 for the first time, amid international criticism of Beijing for its alleged cover-up.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, the pandemic has killed 3,331 people with the number of infections rising to 81,708 by Sunday, China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said on Monday.
A total of 1,299 patients are still being treated, while 77,078 patients have been discharged after recovery, it said.
The deadly COVID-19 has spread rapidly throughout the world, killing 70,590 people and infectecting more than 1.2 million across over 180 countries and territories, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
In India, the COVID-19 death toll has gone up to 111 and the number of cases stands at 4,281, according to the Health ministry figures.
In late last December, the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in central China’s Hubei Province detected cases of “pneumonia of unknown cause”, state run Xinhua news agency reported, citing the timeline document.
On December 30, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission issued an urgent notification to medical institutions under its jurisdiction, ordering efforts to appropriately treat patients with pneumonia of unknown cause, it said.
China has faced criticism over COVID-19 crisis and Beijing has been accused of using its “propaganda” to hush-up coronavirus cases.
Last month, US President Donald Trump said the world was “paying a big price” for China hiding the initial information on the deadly coronavirus, as he ramped up his charges that Beijing was responsible for the current global public health crisis.
“The world is paying a big price for what they (China) did and the world is paying a very big price for not letting them (information about coronavirus) come out,” Trump said.
The president’s remarks had come after the National Security Council had tweeted that the Chinese Communist Party suppressed initial reports on the coronavirus and punished doctors, causing Chinese and international experts to miss critical opportunities to prevent a global pandemic.
On March 26, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said China’s ruling Communist Party posed a substantial threat to Americans’ health and their way of life, blasting Beijing for the intentional “disinformation campaign” and trying to deflect from its handling of the coronavirus crisis.
China has rejected US allegations that it was not transparent enough in sharing the details about the coronavirus outbreak, saying it was working with the international community in an “open and highly responsible manner” to contain the global crisis.