News Outlets Examine China’s Response To Coronavirus Outbreak, Lessons Learned From SARS

AP: Years after SARS, a more confident China faces a new virus
“As a viral outbreak spread from the central Chinese city of Wuhan this week, the ruling Communist Party’s central political and legal affairs commission issued a stern warning: ‘Whoever deliberately delays and conceals reports will forever be nailed to history’s pillar of shame.’ The proclamation Tuesday signaled both China’s growing confidence and its greater awareness of censorship’s pitfalls…” (Wang, 1/22).

Bloomberg/Washington Post: Why China’s Mystery Illness Is Reviving Fears of SARS
“There’s alarm in central China where a mysterious outbreak of pneumonia has been linked to a new coronavirus — a family of bugs responsible for diseases that range in severity from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS. Because some of the patients worked or shopped at a seafood market where live animals and wildlife parts were also reportedly sold, there was concern that the pathogen might have come from animals, as SARS probably did — reviving memories of the epidemic that killed almost 800 people about 17 years ago…” (Gale, 1/22).

New York Times: China Silences Critics Over Deadly Virus Outbreak
“…Today, China faces the spread of another mysterious disease, a coronavirus, which so far has killed 17 people and infected more than 570. And while Beijing’s response has improved in some ways, it has regressed in others. It is censoring criticism. It is detaining people for spreading what it calls ‘rumors.’ It is suppressing information it deems alarming…” (Yuan, 1/22).

Reuters: WHO commends China measures in Wuhan to limit virus spread
“The World Health Organization (WHO) director general said on Wednesday that measures being taken in the Chinese city of Wuhan to close down transport to limit spread of the new coronavirus showed commitment to minimizing risks locally and abroad…” (Nebehay, 1/22).

Additional coverage of China’s response to the coronavirus outbreak and how it compares with SARS is available from Financial Times, New York Times, NPR (2), and Washington Post.

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270 | Email Alerts: | |

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.