Facebook’s “Voice of Public Affairs” released a draft meeting minutes yesterday. On February 5 this year, the fifth day of the Lunar New Year, the Central Epidemic Command Center held a one-hour meeting at noon, estimated to be 200 days. An increase of 100,000 people was diagnosed, which is relatively “optimistic” compared to the 8 million people who were diagnosed in just a few months in this year’s epidemic. According to the minutes of the meeting, the medical capacity and antiviral drugs were allocated based on the estimated value at that time. In this regard, Zhuang Renxiang responded that the minutes of the meeting were true, and based on the time and space background at that time, “the advance deployment is quite certain.”
According to the minutes of the meeting, the participants included former commander Chen Shizhong, current Minister of Health and Welfare Xue Ruiyuan, deputy director of the Ministry of Health and Welfare Shi Chongliang, epidemic commander Wang Bisheng, director of the CDC Zhou Zhihao, deputy director of the CDC Zhuang Renxiang, deputy director of the CDC Luo Yijun and seven others.
The chairperson of the meeting was Chen Shizhong. After about an hour of the meeting, Chen Shizhong made a decision to ask the CDC toCoronavirus diseaseIn the scenario where the fatality rate is 1%, and 100,000 people are newly diagnosed within 200 days (an average of 500 people are diagnosed), take an inventory of the quarantine places, medical capacity, required funds, and demand for antiviral drugs that our country needs, and prepare and deploy in advance.
The whistleblower who published the minutes of the meeting on the “Voice of Public Affairs North Radio” wrote, “Recently, I saw manufacturers come out to claim credit for the hard work of acquiring antiviral drugs. I am really speechless.” The emergency use authorization of antiviral drugs ( EUA) passed as early as the beginning of the year, why do you want to grab the medicine? There are only a few thousand servings when the goods arrive? It is not because of the advanced deployment that the chiefs claim; but in fact, it is completely “underestimating the possible development of the epidemic”, and they did not pre-order the medicine in advance and did not want to buy more. Now it is the manufacturer’s credit. If it is investigated by the Legislative Yuan or the Supervisory Yuan in the future, I don’t know which unlucky undertaker to find, or an expert to take charge.
In this regard, Zhuang Renxiang confirmed that the minutes of the meeting were true. He said that there were 29 local cases on February 5, and only 83 cases on March 30. “It was still in the clearing stage.” Because Omicron is highly contagious, pre-assessment was started until April 4. The policy of co-existing with the virus was decided on January 1.
In the face of outsiders’ doubts about this “so-called advance deployment”, Zhuang Renxiang said that on February 5, a contract had been signed to purchase 25,000 new crown antiviral drugs, which would be enough for 250,000 to 300,000 people when they were diagnosed. On February 5, the quantity of the two drugs “arrived” was 5,200. By April 10, another 700,000 antiviral drugs were purchased. “Advance deployment is quite certain.”
● Experts: Optimistic epidemic estimates do not know where confidence comes from
Compared with the actual development of the epidemic situation, the command center’s estimate of the epidemic situation on February 5 was seriously distorted. From the estimated 100,000 confirmed cases on February 5 to April 29, the target was reached, which took only one-third of 200 days.
In early April, hundreds of local cases were added every day in Taiwan. In mid-April, there were thousands of new cases every day. In late April, there were tens of thousands of new cases every day. The number of confirmed cases is still calculated in tens of thousands. Taiwan survived the peak of the first wave of BA.2 epidemics, and the excess mortality rate in June was as high as 42%. On the 200th day after the fifth day of the Lunar New Year, that is, on August 24, the country is about to enter the second wave of BA.5 epidemics ascending segment.
The completely inaccurate estimate of the epidemic situation has left experts at a loss. Huang Limin, honorary chairman of the Taiwan Society of Infectious Disease Medicine, said that usually the command center will hold an expert meeting first, and then send the materials of the expert meeting to an internal meeting. Officials can use it as a reference when discussing internal meetings, but he does not know that this meeting Before, has there been a group meeting or an expert meeting first.
“In hindsight, this estimate is too optimistic.” Huang Limin said, if you think there is an epidemic, you will imagine, for example, 50,000 people a day; if you estimate that there will be an increase of 100,000 people in 200 days, you think there will be no epidemic. The infection control measures are very sure and confident. “As for how faith comes from, I don’t know, that’s what it means.”
In April and May of this year, inspections, rapid screening, diagnosis, notification, drug collection, emergency medical treatment, etc., the various procedures were chaotic and changed. Is it possible that they are all related to overly optimistic estimates? “This is the core assumption, and all work is developed around this assumption.” Huang Limin said that it is understandable that if you are too optimistic, the preparations for everything will be insufficient and slow. It’s like fighting a war. If you estimate that it will take a year to win, you will prepare more things. If you estimate that it will take five days, you will prepare different things.
Huang Limin said that generally speaking, a range is estimated. For example, if you estimate that 50% to 70% of the population in Taiwan will be diagnosed, then you have to prepare to be able to cope with 70% of the population, and not only prepare for 50%. It’s basic common sense.”
● Experts have repeatedly voted for the command center to prepare more medicines, vaccines,Rapid Screening Reagent
A domestic authoritative scholar is willing to comment, but he is worried that the election will be held in two days, and he is afraid of being attacked by the cyber army, so he wishes to remain anonymous. The scholar said that he didn’t know how the meeting worked at the time, and he didn’t want to comment on past events, but he could share how people in the field of public health or epidemiology thought about epidemic prediction at that time.
Scholars said that he wrote to the media many times in February and March this year, calling on the government to think about “how to transition from 1% infection rate in Taiwan to 60%”, because in January and February this year, the diagnosis rate in most countries in the world has already reached 60%. More than 60%, this is a global epidemic, it is impossible that only Taiwan or mainland China will not be infected.
“If the foreign countries have reached 60%, Taiwan must prepare vaccines, drugs, and rapid screening reagents in this direction.” Scholars said that from the perspective of a global epidemic, the number of daily infections in Taiwan should be 30,000 to 60,000 per day. people. Anyone who understands infectious diseases and epidemiology will know that it is only a matter of time before such a high infection scale is reached. This disease cannot be extinct like SARS.
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