The ChiComs have been claiming for over a week that they’ve got their virus under control, and that they are reopening factories and businesses. Here is what Xinhua, their official (i.e., government-run) news agency, reported just today:
Wuhan has had its coronavirus risk evaluation downgraded from “high risk” to “medium risk,” a local health official told a press conference Friday.
The coronavirus risk evaluation for five districts of Xinzhou, Huangpi, Jiangxia, Caidian and Dongxihu have been further lowered to “low risk,” said Liu Dongru, deputy head of the provincial health commission, who declared the transmission of the coronavirus epidemic in the main battlefield in Wuhan, the hardest-hit city by the virus, has been “basically blocked.”
Others, such as The Financial Times, are skeptical:
China’s official figures for new coronavirus cases suggest transmission has all but ended in many regions, but local experts have warned that official numbers omit important categories of cases.
Hubei, the province where the outbreak originated, has reported no more than one new case a day for more than a week, allowing the government to signal the end of the crisis period. Officials and disease control teams have been able to leave the area, and travel restrictions and quarantines have also been relaxed.
But interviews with local medics and disease specialists reveal that the situation in Hubei’s capital Wuhan could be worse than the official figures make out, suggesting any declaration of Beijing of victory against the pandemic would be premature.
Actions do indeed speak louder than words. The ChiComs have an extensive propaganda campaign underway, and part of their gameplan is to convince the rest of the world that they’ve got the virus under control in China and can leverage their “lessons-learned” in a charm offensive as they seek to persuade other countries to follow China’s leadership in combatting the virus. This is a psychological play, too, as “following China’s leadership” becomes a repeatable play for more of the ChiComs’ foreign policy objectives.
Here is one real action that speaks volumes about whether the ChiComs really have their virus under control. They’re closing their movie theaters again:
China’s film regulators … slammed the brakes on plans to gradually reopen the country’s cinemas.
Over 600 movie theaters across China were given the green light to reopen their doors over the past week, but Beijing’s Film Bureau put out a notice late Friday ordering all theaters to go back into shutdown.
No official explanation for the sudden reversal was provided. Industry insiders instantly began speculating that the government was worried about a potential second wave of coronavirus infections.
The decision comes as a shock given the signals authorities had been sending as recently as a day ago. On Thursday, Shanghai’s municipal government announced that 205 of the city’s movie theaters had received permission to resume business on Saturday. Earlier in the week, China Film Group, the dominant state-backed distributor, unveiled a plan to let cinemas rerelease past blockbusters to help lure customers back into seats.
“No official explanation.” Riiiiight. What do you think?
P.S. Funny how they apparently have enough data to micro-manage their economy but still can’t figure out the origins of the virus. It does not compute.