Wuhan: Responding to allegations of a deliberate cover-up regarding the origins of coronavirus outbreak, China on Monday said that the first case of Covid-19 was detected in Wuhan city in ‘late December 2019’. With the deadly virus now wreaking havoc in 180 counties, China has faced criticism over COVID-19 crisis and Beijing has been accused of using its ‘propaganda’ to hush-up coronavirus cases. Also Read - Boycott TikTok: Netizens Express Anger Over China For Introducing Coronavirus, Say 'Make China Pay'

”It is groundless to accuse China of covering up COVID-19 outbreak information”, Minister Ma Hui from the Chinese Embassy told Sky News and also stated that China has been sharing information on COVID-19 in an open, transparent and responsible manner with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the international community. Also Read - COVID-19: India Receives 1.70 Lakh PPE Coveralls From China to Fight Corona Crisis in Country

Attempting to clear doubts about China’s intentions, the country’s official media also came out with a timeline of the detection and control of the pandemic in the country. Here’s what the document says:

-It was in late last December, when the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention in central China’s Hubei province detected cases of ‘pneumonia of unknown cause’.

-On December 30, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission issued an urgent notification to medical institutions under its jurisdiction, ordering efforts to appropriately treat patients .

-On December 31, the municipal commission released a briefing on its website about the pneumonia outbreak in the city, confirming 27 cases and telling the public not to go to enclosed public places or gather.

-It suggested wearing face masks when going out, the document said, adding that commission started releasing the briefings on the pneumonia outbreak from the next day.

-Starting January 3, China has been regularly informing the WHO, relevant countries and regions and Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan about the pneumonia outbreak.

-China began to inform the US of the pneumonia outbreak and response measures on a regular basis, it said, refuting allegations from Washington that Beijing has not shared the required data.

-On January 5, laboratory test results ruled out respiratory pathogens, such as influenza, avian influenza, adenovirus, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, as the cause, it said.

-On the same day, China informed the WHO about the outbreak updates and the UN health body released its first briefing on the issue.

“The novel coronavirus disease epidemic is a major public health emergency that has spread the fastest, caused the most extensive infections and been the hardest to contain since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949,” said the document, which listed developments till March 31.

However, the document didn’t say anything about the emergence of the deadly infection from Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan.  The timeline document also did not mention Li Wenliang, the “whistle-blower” doctor in Wuhan who was reprimanded by police when he warned about the virus in social media on December 30.

The deadly COVID-19 has spread rapidly throughout the world, killing 75,945 people and infecting over 1.3 million across over 180 countries and territories.

(With Agency inputs)