New Delhi: As leaked documents have apparently revealed that China dragged its feet in dealing with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and as Wuhan, the epicentre, has revised its death toll figure on Friday, China has washed its hands off the global controversy. There has never been any concealment, a foreign ministry spokesman has said, though he has acknowledged that there were instances of undercounting. “There has never been any concealment, and we’ll never allow any concealment,” he said. Also Read - Watch: Shocking Video of Rats Running Around Inside ICU of Tamil Nadu Govt Hospital Goes Viral

Leaked documents, as reported by the Associated Press, have shown that the head of China’s National Health Commission, Ma Xiaowei, assessed the situation on January 14 during a confidential teleconference. “The epidemic situation is still severe and complex, the most severe challenge since SARS in 2003, and is likely to develop into a major public health event,” the memo cites Ma as saying. Also Read - COVID-19 Effect: Hong Kong based Cathay Pacific Cuts 8,500 Jobs, Shuts Regional Airline

It was on January 20 that President Xi Jinping issued his first public comments that the outbreak must be taken seriously. So, a week after it was known, China told the world that it was transmissible from person to person. Also Read - Kerala's Eco-Friendly 'Neem G' Auto-Rickshaws to Hit Streets of Nepal, Runs at 50 Paise Per Km

The Wuhan authorities revised the death toll figures on Friday with 1,290 additional fatalities, taking the total number of casualties in the country to 4,632. As of April 16, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Wuhan was increased by 325 to 50,333 and the number of fatalities up by 1,290 to 3,869. Explaining the reason for the figure revision, the Wuhan municipality said it was done to ensure that the information on the city’s COVID-19 epidemic is open and transparent and that the data are accurate.

(With Agency Inputs)