Monday, 16 May, 2022
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Leaked US govt report on China indicates that cold war between the two is only intensifying

In episode 461 of #CutTheClutter, Shekhar Gupta talks about the growing tensions with China as US digs for details on the origin of Covid-19, and the slowing positivity rate in India.

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New Delhi: A leaked report by the US Department of Security suggests that China knew about the severity of the virus much before it had informed the world and it stocked up on medical equipment by cutting exports and increasing imports. By the time the world knew about Covid-19, it was already hit, and it had sold all its medical equipment to China. 

In January, according to the report, China increased its imports of surgical facemasks by 278 per cent, surgical gowns by 72 per cent and surgical gloves by 32 per cent. Meanwhile, it slashed its global exports on a host of medical products: Surgical gloves by 48 per cent, surgical gowns by 71 per cent, face masks by 48 per cent, medical ventilators by 45 per cent, incubator kits by 56 per cent, thermometers by 53 per cent, and cotton balls and swabs by 58 per cent.

Furthermore, the Chinese government delayed releasing their January trade data and released it combined with their February data. 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed the report in an interview with ABC News Sunday. Pompeo added that China tried to hide the reports by silencing journalists, medical professionals and “all the kind of things that authoritarian regimes do”.

The Secretary of State talking like this is not a small thing. China is also spreading an audio clip that says the US is responsible for its own losses as it didn’t care about the warning from China. There is a new cold war, going on between the US and China. 


Also read: Not just India, these 12 countries also eased their Covid-19 restrictions on Monday


Covid-19 from a lab in Wuhan 

In another interview, Pompeo also said that he has strong evidence that Covid-19 has come from a lab in Wuhan. Scientists have confirmed that this virus cannot be manmade but it doesn’t rule out the possibility that it came from animals in a substandard laboratory.  

He said that China has a history of running substandard labs and now they are blocking scientists from research on Covid-19’s origin. 

It is not just US that has spoke out against China, but so have UK and France. There is a global pushback against China, and now, it will struggle to complete projects like the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ even in African countries. 


Also read: Trump promises conclusive proof that Covid-19 has origins in China and Beijng misled world


India’s Covid-19 figures

The number of people who test positive for Covid-19 has come down from 4.7 per cent out of every 100 tested on 15 April to 3.8 per cent as on 4 May. Although the number of cases has been going up, the positivity rate has come down. India is testing 75,000 people every day, so a rise in the absolute number of infections is expected. Maharashtra and Gujarat have the highest test positivity rate in India. 

As many people have recovered from the virus as there were cases on 15 April. So the lag between recoveries and infection is 19 days. The smaller the number, the better.

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