According to documents obtained by The Epoch Times, the patient had visited Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the virus first broke out.
The Beijing city government announced its first patient on Jan. 20, the same day the central government acknowledged that the virus was capable of human-to-human transmission.
Previous reporting by The Epoch Times revealed that authorities knew of the virus’s risk of spreading among patients in early January, but concealed the information from the public.
The Epoch Times obtained an internal document titled “Summary of Receiving the WHO [World Health Organization] Delegation in China” that the Beijing Ditan Hospital compiled and reported to the central government on Feb. 17. The WHO had visited the hospital that day.
The hospital said in the report: “On Jan. 12, Ditan Hospital received the first coronavirus patient in Beijing. On Jan. 22, we separated areas in the ICU negative pressure wards and a normal patient zone dedicated to treating coronavirus patients.”
The Ditan Hospital has at least 22 ICU negative pressure wards, according to the central government’s official website.
The Epoch Times also obtained an internal document issued by Gao Fu, director of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on Jan. 17.
Gao confirmed in this report that the national CDC received a patient sample from the Beijing municipal CDC on Jan. 12, and it tested positive for the CCP virus.
Gao listed that the patient was a 29-year-old woman surnamed Chen. The sample was sputum collected from Chen on Jan. 11.
Based on another internal document—released by China’s National Health Commission on Jan. 18 to explain testing and case confirmation procedures—provincial CDCs were required to send samples of positive COVID-19 patients to the national CDC for the latter to determine whether the patients are confirmed diagnoses.
This meant that provincial CDCs and the national CDC would publicly announce a COVID-19 case only after the latter made the final decision.
This policy changed in February, in which Hubei Province—the hardest-hit region and where Wuhan is the capital—was allowed to determine COVID-19 cases. Other regions of China still have to receive approval from the national CDC to announce a case.
Though Gao had confirmed the positive diagnosis on Jan. 17, the Beijing city government didn’t announce the case until Jan. 20