China spent the first few days of coronavirus outbreak ARRESTING people for spreading ‘rumors’

China spent the crucial first days of the new coronavirus outbreak arresting people who talked about it online and harassing journalists trying to cover the story. 

While Chinese officials were quick to inform world health authorities about the new disease, they appear to have tried to repress the news at home.

That could have allowed the disease to spread quickly through cities such as Wuhan, now thought to be the epicentre of the virus, because citizens were largely unaware it existed and took no precautions against it.

The move also has chilling echoes of the 2003 SARS outbreak, which China initially tried to cover up and ended with the deaths of almost 800 people.