The Chinese Government has placed a restriction on the publication of research focusing on the origin of the novel Coronavirus.
The Government noted that such publications would be subjected to serious scrutiny before being published.
Some online notices published by two Chinese universities on the coronavirus that were published earlier have been removed from the web site.
In a new policy by the central government, it said “Studies on the origin of the virus will receive extra vetting and must be approved by central government officials,” according to the now-deleted posts.
This appears to be effort by the Chinese government to control the narrative on the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
Since the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, over 100,000 people have died and 1.8 million people have been infected.
Early findings about coronavirus cases such as when human-to-human transition first appeared raised questions over the official government account of the outbreak and sparked controversy on Chinese social media.
Currently, the Chinese authorities appear to be tightening their grip on the publication of Covid-19 research.
CNN reported that a Chinese researcher who spoke on condition of anonymity due to fear of retaliation said the move was a worrying development that would likely obstruct important scientific research.
“I think it is a coordinated effort from the Chinese government to control the narrative, and paint it as if the outbreak did not originate in China,” the researcher said
“And I don’t think they will really tolerate any objective study to investigate the origination of this disease,” he added.
The Chinese Ministry of Education’s science and technology department had issued a directive saying “academic papers about tracing the origin of the virus must be strictly and tightly managed.”
“Other papers on Covid-19 will be vetted by universities’ academic committees, based on conditions such as the “academic value” of the study, and whether the “timing for publishing” is right,” it said.
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