The Chinese government has imposed tight restrictions on all research publications bordering on the origins of the novel coronavirus which has left 1.7million people infected and claimed over 100,000 lives since its first outbreak in the city of Wuhan in December.
According to a government directive published on two of China’s leading universities —Fudan University in Shanghai and China University of Geoscience in Wuhan —all “academic papers about tracing the origin of the virus must be strictly and tightly managed.”
Under the new policy, researchers were required to send their papers to the Education Ministry’s department of science and technology after which a copy would be forwarded to the task force under the State Council for extra vetting and scrutiny before being approved for publication
A Chinese researcher who pleased anonymity said that the new policy would slow down further important scientific researches. He said:
“I think it is a coordinated effort from (the) Chinese government to control (the) narrative, and paint it as if the outbreak did not originate in China,”
“I don’t think they will really tolerate any objective study to investigate the origination of this disease.” He added.
Another Chinese respiratory medic at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, David Hui Shu-cheong, also stated:
“I don’t know it is because some researchers published something that is considered sensitive domestically in China. (I’m) not sure if it is because of the controversy about the origin of the virus,”
Meanwhile, the Fudan University and China’s University of Geoscience have since taken down the pages few hours after the directives were discovered.