Chinese authorities hid information from the public about medical staff who were diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP virus, amid a second wave outbreak in the northeastern region of Jilin, according to internal government documents obtained by The Epoch Times.
The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, first broke out in central China’s Wuhan city in late 2019. Since early April, after a brief period in which most regions of China reported little to no new infections, second wave outbreaks have occurred in several Chinese provinces, including Jilin.
Chinese authorities’ reporting of virus data is opaque; there are no cumulative infection figures, with local governments only reporting new infections daily. Asymptomatic carriers are also counted separately from “confirmed diagnoses,” while little background is provided about the diagnosed patients. Authorities have also underreported cases.
In the current outbreak occurring in Jilin city, Jilin Province, authorities did not mention that any medical staff have been infected with the CCP virus. However, internal documents showed that at least two local hospitals have infected employees.
Due to medical staff’s close interactions with sick patients, they are at risk of spreading the virus to those with a relatively fragile immune system.
Hu is a 22-year-old woman who works as a surgical nurse at the Beihua University Affiliated Hospital in Jilin city.
In an internal document, the Jilin Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported to the national CDC on May 15 that Hu was diagnosed with COVID-19 that day.
In the Jilin provincial health commission’s previous public announcements, authorities mentioned a case that matched Hu’s profile: a 22-year-old woman who lived in the same neighborhood as Hu. But no other background information was provided.
In the internal Jilin CDC report, Hu is identified as the daughter of 45-year-old Gao—who was isolated as a close contact of a diagnosed patient on May 12. Gao was later diagnosed with COVID-19 on May 14.
After her mother Gao was identified as a close contact, Hu took a nucleic acid test at her workplace on May 12. The result was negative.
On May 14, after Gao was diagnosed with COVID-19, Hu took another nucleic acid test, which was performed by the Jilin CDC. This time, the result came back positive.
The next day, Hu was isolated at the Chuanying No. 2 Hospital in Chuanying district, Jilin city. After specialists announced that she was formally diagnosed, Hu was transferred to the Jilin City Infectious Disease Hospital.
The internal document listed close contacts of Hu. They are 55 medical staff at her workplace, 34 patients and their relatives whom Hu came into contact with, and Hu’s grandmother and aunt.
Locals previously told The Epoch Times that the Beihua University Affiliated Hospital, which is not a hospital designated to treat COVID-19 patients, stopped taking any new patients since May 15.
Contacted by phone on May 17, a staff at the reception desk of the hospital told The Epoch Times that its clinics and emergency departments were still treating non-COVID-19 patients who don’t need to stay overnight—but all patients must register and take a nucleic acid test before entering the hospital.
Patients need to make an appointment online or by phone. Afterwards, they must take a nucleic acid test at a temporary tent set up in front of the hospital, the staff explained.
If the result is negative, the patient can register at the tent and then enter the hospital. If the result is positive, the patient will be sent to a quarantine center or a hospital designated to treat COVID-19.
When The Epoch Times contacted the hospital about Hu’s diagnosis, the reception staff denied Hu’s case, and did not respond to questions about whether any medical staff from the hospital were being isolated.
49-year-old Li is a cashier at the Shulan People’s Hospital. She was diagnosed on May 9. Shulan is a county-level municipality within Jilin city.
In an internal document, the Jilin CDC reported to the national CDC that Li was in close contact with a diagnosed patient. On May 7, the day that the close contact was diagnosed, Li and her husband were isolated at a quarantine center.
On May 9, Li and her husband were diagnosed with COVID-19.
A case matching Li’s profile was previously announced by authorities, with only her age and residential neighborhood.
Another internal document detailed a suspected case previously unreported by authorities: Xiao, a doctor at the cardiopulmonary department of Shulan People’s Hospital, who was being isolated because he had treated a diagnosed patient before the latter was confirmed to be COVID-positive.
On May 26, China’s National Health Commission did not announce any new domestic infections in China. Both the Jilin and national commission have never disclosed that a medical staff had been infected.
Meanwhile, Hubei Province, a virus hotspot, has announced 25 to 40 new asymptomatic carriers every day since May 21. But authorities did not say where these carriers are from and when they contracted the virus.
On Weibo and other social media platforms, Hubei netizens expressed their concerns about these asymptomatic carriers, and questioned whether there were more COVID-positive infections that were not being diagnosed or announced by authorities.