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China Increases Restrictions On Researches Tracing COVID-19 Origin

Beijing has now imposed new restrictions on academic research by universities on COVID-19 and its origin to further control the narrative amid controversies.


In the latest development by the Chinese government to limit the narrative of the origin of deadly coronavirus, it has now imposed new restrictions on academic researches on COVID-19 and its origin. An international media outlet reported the move by Beijing after two Chinese universities published notices on the updated rules and regulations including additional scrutiny of the content before publication. According to the now-deleted posts, the studies on the origin of coronavirus, which has infected over 1.8 million people in the world, must be approved by officials from the central government in China of the country. 

Moreover, a medical expert in Hong Kong who had previously worked with the Chinese researchers to publish a clinical analysis on the novel virus for an international medical journal, reportedly said that their work did not go through the similar procedures, as introduced now by Beijing. Since late January, researchers in China along with those around the world have been publishing articles and studies on COVID-19. However, certain accounts including the transmission of the pathogen, have surrounded the Chinese government in doubts and has even sparked multiple conspiracies over social media. Even the US President Donald Trump called it “Chinese Virus”. 

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‘Strictly managed’

According to the official statement by the Ministry of Education‘s science and technology department in China, the authorities want all academic papers about finding the original source of the virus to be "strictly and tightly managed”. All the new directives include multiple layers of approval from a task force under the State Council for especially papers considering the traces of origin. The papers will only be submitted to journals only after the universities finally hear it back from the assigned task force. 

After originating from China’s “wet markets”, the coronavirus has now claimed over 114,335 lives worldwide as of April 13. According to the tally by international news agency, the pandemic has now spread to 210 countries and has infected at least 1,857,128 people. Out of the total infections, 428,336 have been recovered but the easily spread virus is continuing to disrupt many lives. Major cities have been put under lockdown in almost all countries and the economy is struggling.

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