As World Health Organization investigators descend on Wuhan, China to investigate the global coronavirus pandemic origin Thursday, the country has taken to locking down more than 22 million in their homes.
Among the locales on lockdown were cities Shijiazhuang, Xingtai, and Langfang, along with counties in the Heilongjiang province and districts in the capital city of Beijing, The New York Times reported.
Notably, per the report, the massive lockdowns – twice as large as the initial ones at the beginning of the Chinese outbreak – come as the country reported a mere average of 109 new cases a day in a country of 1.4 billion people.
“Those would be welcome numbers in countries experiencing far worse — including the United States, which is averaging more than 250,000 new cases a day — but they are the worst in China since last summer,” the Times wrote.
“China’s National Health Commission has not reported any new deaths, but the World Health Organization, which uses information from China, has recorded 12 so far in 2021. The National Health Commission did not respond to requests to explain the discrepancy.”
President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and U.S. intelligence and health experts have long expressed skepticism of China’s COVID-19 infections and death counts.
“In the process of infectious disease prevention and control, one of the key points is to seek truth from facts, to openly and transparently release epidemic information and never to allow covering up or underreporting,” Chinese premier Li Keqiang told the State Council, China’s Cabinet on Friday, per the report.