The footage for this film has been smuggled out of China and ended up at Aljazeera’s investigative unit. The characters of the two journalists have been altered for security purposes. This document adds significantly onto what ultimately would become another Rich man’s trick that up till today holds the world in check.
The documentary follows the experience of two journalists trying to investigate the Covid-19 virus outbreak in Wuhan, China. They report on their experience investigating the outbreak three days before the first official lockdown. On the ground, they are initially surprised by the people’s reactions while the government officials and news reports are trying to assure citizens that the likelihood of transmission from human to human is relatively low.
Things take an interesting turn when one of the journalists is held by the police and advised that he needs to follow procedures before he can have any coverage in the Wuhan market area, which was cordoned off in those initial hours. Officials believed the first infection was a result of transmission from one of the wild animals traded in the market area.
Hospitals start to treat their first cases, the numbers are increasing by the hour, and authorities in fact confirm that the virus passes from human to human, which drastically changes the situation overnight. Travel control measures are put in place and individuals immediately start adjusting their behavior to the new information.
The shop owners are suspecting the official reports about the origins of the disease, while the police officers are still prohibiting any filming in the market area. The Chinese Government starts to control the amount of information available to the citizens and puts policies in place to try to ensure protection and to restrict the transmission of the disease.
The film reveals how the information available to the citizens influenced their behavior and the challenges people experienced trying to access care and even give care to their loved ones.
Within three days, the journalists are advised to evacuate because of a pending lockdown and the seriousness of the disease becomes apparent. Their coverage is an interesting look at what was only the beginning of the ongoing pandemic.