According to documents obtained by The Epoch Times, the patient had visited Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the virus first broke out.
The Beijing city government announced its first patient on Jan. 20, the same day the central government acknowledged that the virus was capable of human-to-human transmission.
Previous reporting by The Epoch Times revealed that authorities knew of the virus’s risk of spreading among patients in early January, but concealed the information from the public.
The Epoch Times obtained an internal document titled “Summary of Receiving the WHO [World Health Organization] Delegation in China” that the Beijing Ditan Hospital compiled and reported to the central government on Feb. 17. The WHO had visited the hospital that day.
The hospital stated in the report: “On Jan. 12, Ditan Hospital received the first coronavirus patient in Beijing. On Jan. 22, we separated areas in the ICU negative pressure wards and a normal patient zone dedicated to treating coronavirus patients.”
The Ditan Hospital has at least 22 ICU negative pressure wards, according to the central government’s official website.
The Epoch Times also obtained an internal document issued by Gao Fu, director of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on Jan. 17.
Gao confirmed in this report that the national CDC received a patient sample from the Beijing municipal CDC on Jan. 12, and it tested positive for the CCP virus.
Gao listed that the patient was a 29-year-old woman surnamed Chen. The sample was sputum collected from Chen on Jan. 11.
Based on another internal document—released by China’s National Health Commission on Jan. 18 to explain testing and case confirmation procedures—provincial CDCs were required to send samples of positive COVID-19 patients to the national CDC for the latter to determine whether the patients were confirmed diagnoses.
This meant that provincial CDCs and the national CDC would publicly announce a COVID-19 case only after the latter made the final decision.
This policy changed in February, in which Hubei Province—the hardest-hit region and where Wuhan is the capital—was allowed to determine COVID-19 cases. Other regions of China still have to receive approval from the national CDC to announce a case.
Though Gao had confirmed the positive diagnosis on Jan. 17, the Beijing city government didn’t announce the case until Jan. 20.
Shanghai and Guangdong Province also announced their first CCP virus patients that day.
State-run media Health Times reported on March 30 that the first patients in Shanghai and Guangdong were diagnosed earlier than the official announcement date.
The first COVID-19 patient in Shanghai was a 56-year-old woman who arrived in Shanghai from Wuhan on Jan. 12, according to the report.
When arriving in Shanghai, the patient was already experiencing symptoms, such as fever and fatigue. She was diagnosed in Shanghai on Jan. 15, according to Health Times.
The first COVID-19 patient in Guangdong Province was a 66-year-old man who returned to Shenzhen city on Jan. 4 after visiting Wuhan. He developed symptoms on Jan. 3 when he was still in Wuhan.
The patient visited a Shenzhen hospital on Jan. 4 and was diagnosed on Jan. 11.
According to the report, Shanghai and Guangdong reported the cases to central authorities and sent the patient samples to the national CDC, after which the latter also tested the samples.
U.S.-based China affairs commentator Li Linyi said it was clear that the Chinese regime covered up the information in order to “maintain its ruling,” he said after reading the leaked documents The Epoch Times shared with him.
He surmised that the Shanghai and Guangdong cases were also intentionally reported late. “The regime hid the truth until the outbreak couldn’t be hidden anymore.”