Minitrue Diary, February 11, 2020: Novel Coronavirus Terminology, Superspreaders, Too Many Flags

CDT has recently acquired and verified a collection of directives issued by central Party authorities to at the beginning of this year. These directives were issued on an almost daily basis in early 2020, and we will be posting them over the coming weeks. The following three directives were released on February 11, 2020.

In the spirit of the National Health Commission’s “Notice on Tentative Terminologies Related to Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia” from February 8, news reports may refer to “pneumonia from novel coronavirus infections” as “novel coronavirus pneumonia” or “NCP”—in English, “novel coronavirus pneumonia” or “NCP” for short. (February 11, 2020) [Chinese]

This report is inaccurate, please withdraw it: “Paper lead-authored by Zhong Nanshan: Incubation period can be as long as 24 days; superspreaders are possible.” (February 11, 2020) [Chinese]

There should not be too many flags, banners, or symbols onscreen during news reports. (February 11, 2020) [Chinese]

These directives continued a stream of orders banning or limiting coverage of certain aspects of the spread of the novel coronavirus in China. Well-known epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan was the first to publicly confirm that the virus could be transmitted from person to person in late January. It has since been accepted by the scientific community that “superspreaders” are indeed responsible for much of the COVID-19 transmission globally.

真Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. Some instructions are issued by local authorities or to specific sectors, and may not apply universally across China. The date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source. See CDT’s collection of Directives from the Ministry of Truth since 2011.


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