China cartoon
via Global Times - Twitter

India has become the second country in the world after the United States to record 5 million Covid-19 cases, with the last 1 million coming in a world-record time of 11 days. The country recorded 90,123 fresh cases, while deaths rose by 1,290 in the last 24 hours.

But China, being India's immediate neighbor, has been taking advantage of this situation and spewing venom against India and the US.

In one of its reports, published on August 21, the Global Times, the mouthpiece of China's Communist Party, wrote that India's "incapacity in dealing with COVID-19" has been shown by its "skyrocketing daily infection numbers".

"The surging number of infections can partly be attributed to the country's increased testing ability, which has climbed to roughly 900,000 per day recently," the Global Times said in the report.

"They said one problem with the country's testing is that it is conducted disproportionately, as it is mostly concentrated in urban areas, and people in rural areas have an urgent need to be tested," the report added.

"The World Health Organization and experts have raised concerns about low testing rates in India. The country previously administered over 31 million tests, but that's only about 23,000 tests per million inhabitants — much lower proportionally than in the US, Russia and many European countries," it said.

'Once Upon a Virus'

Similarly, in early May, China had published a short animation titled "Once Upon a Virus" mocking the US response to the new coronavirus using Lego-like figures to represent the two countries.

Washington and Beijing are locked in a war of words over the origins of the disease, which emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan and has grown into a global pandemic.

In a response to the mockery, US President Donald Trump said that he was confident the coronavirus may have originated in a Chinese virology lab, but declined to describe the evidence.

Coronavirus image
This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (pink) cultured in the lab.Credit: NIAID-RML

It seems Beijing has ignored the fact that the pandemic contagion, the most deadly after the Spanish flu in 1914, is believed to have transmitted to the humans in a seafood market of Hubei central province.

US intelligence reports have further disclosed information in a classified document that China has concealed the extent of the coronavirus outbreak in its country, under-reporting both total cases and deaths it's suffered from the disease.

The outbreak began in China's Hubei province in late 2019, but the country has publicly reported only about 82,000 cases and 3,300 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. That compares to more than 189,000 cases and more than 4,000 deaths in the U.S., which has the largest publicly reported outbreak in the world.

While China eventually imposed a strict lockdown beyond those of less autocratic nations, there has been considerable skepticism toward China's reported numbers, both outside and within the country. The Chinese government has repeatedly revised its methodology for counting cases, for weeks excluding people without symptoms entirely.

Meanwhile, stacks of thousands of urns outside funeral homes in Hubei province have driven public doubt in Beijing's reporting.

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has publicly urged China and other nations to be transparent about their outbreaks and repeatedly accused the Asian giant of covering up the extent of the problem and being slow to share information, especially in the weeks after the virus first emerged, and blocking offers of help from American experts.