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Minitrue Diary, February 1, 2020: Protecting Coronavirus Patient Privacy, Information on Medical Treatments

0 3 months ago

CDT has recently acquired and verified a collection of propaganda directives issued by central Party authorities to state media 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 two directives were released on February 1, 2020.

When reporting on confirmed cases and deaths from the novel coronavirus pneumonia, pay attention to protecting privacy. Do not identify patients by name, and do your utmost to avoid using real photos or images of patients unless using appropriate technologies to pixelate the identifying images. When giving the source of information, avoid wording like “doctors believe”; indicate the specific source as far as possible. Do not use “incurable,” “deadly,” etc. in headlines to avoid public panic. (February 1, 2020) [Chinese]

Responsibility for announcements on effective medical treatments and methods has been unified under the National Health Commission’s Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism Medical Treatment Group. Without exception, do not report on information released by other organizations. (February 1, 2020) [Chinese]

As the novel coronavirus spread in China and around the world, propaganda officials continued to issue directives aimed at limiting independent news and information about its severity and potential treatments. On January 30, the WHO had declared the coronavirus a “global health emergency” and Wuhan and other nearby cities were still on lockdown. See all propaganda directives about the coronavirus issued since early January.

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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