A Chinese civil servant who hid his daughter’s Wuhan travel history and infected his entire family has also exposed over 1,700 households in his gated community which has been put on lockdown as a result.
Authorities who arrested government worker Mr Wang on charges of gross negligence and endangering public safety have now upped his charges to include crimes against the prevention of infectious diseases.
Mr Wang, from Si County in East China’s Anhui Province, did not voluntarily disclose information about his eldest daughter’s return from novel coronavirus epicentre Wuhan, the Si County People’s Procuratore said in a statement.
He picked her up at Suzhou East Railway Station on 22nd January and hid her travel history, and he continued to conceal the fact even after staff members in his residential community learned the truth.
Prosecutors said Mr Wang was forced to disclose his daughter’s travel history on 8th February after both his wife and younger daughter began showing symptoms of the illness now officially known as COVID-19.
The department for which Mr Wang works has not been revealed, but he took part in disease-prevention work on behalf of the municipal government, the statement noted.
On 9th and 10th February, Mr Wang’s wife, daughters and then himself were all confirmed to have been infected by the deadly virus.
According to prosecutors, Mr Wang failed to take the necessary precautions or follow disease-prevention guidelines in order to ensure the safety of those around him.
He not only visited relatives, friends and attended gatherings, but also went shopping and continued to work and take part in disease-prevention tasks, the charges alleged.
A preliminary investigation has identified more than 400 people, including colleagues and staff at a local hospital, who are thought to have had close contact with Mr Wang during the period before his confirmed diagnosis.
As a result, his entire residential district, comprising more than 1,700 households, has been put on lockdown, with the hospital also implementing quarantine measures.
Mr Wang was formally charged on 10th February, but he was placed on bail pending a trial due to his status as a confirmed COVID-19 patient.
The Wuhan coronavirus has so far claimed the lives of 2,004 people in mainland China and six others in Asia.
More than 75,000 confirmed cases have been reported worldwide.
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