Xinjiang in danger of severe Covid-19 outbreak

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic this week. That designation implies an epidemic that has spread over several countries or continents, affecting a large number of people.

The Chinese government initially tried to conceal the severity of the problem by hiding facts about the outbreak, which in turn contributed to the spread of the virus across the world. But the state machinery swung into action on January 23 by quarantining Wuhan and other cities in Hubei province, where the outbreak was first observed. Some cities on the east coast were also partially locked down as the number of cases increased.

Though a lot of effort has gone into containing the spread of the virus across China, the situation in the westernmost Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, which is one of the most vulnerable regions for reasons detailed below, remains largely ignored and underreported.