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The Debate

Can it be contained? Coronavirus tests faith in China's crisis management

THE DEBATE
THE DEBATE © FRANCE 24

On a global scale, truly just how lethal is the current outbreak of coronavirus? With the death toll now topping one thousand, it has killed more than the SARS flu of 2003. But is it really more contagious? We are still unsure of the science, partly because the virus is so new, partly because China - where the outbreak originated - now has a serious credibility problem.

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News that the first alerts out of the central city of Wuhan were suppressed have fueled doubts over the data now being shared with the outside world. We ask about Beijing's decision to sanction local officials in Hubei province and the contagion of fear beyond China's borders.

On the frontline is Hong Kong, where the quarantining of an apartment building is contributing to tension in that restive territory. Further afield comes news of closed factories, cancelled flights, even doubts over next summer's Olympics in Tokyo.

How much of it is justified? And how do you quarantine one fifth of the world's population and a nation that since 2003 has grown to represent 18 percent of the global economy?

Produced by Tommaso Mazzanti, Juliette Laurain and Jimena Morales-Velasco.

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