Chinese citizens are up in arms over the rising spread of the deadly coronavirus. The death toll in China from the virus is now at 1,013, making this outbreak more deadly than the SARS virus scare from 2002-2003.
The number of cases reported over the weekend rose after a string of daily declines. Chinese authorities said Monday about 6,000 people are in critical condition.
The communist government says containment efforts are successful, but a growing number of people around the world say Beijing is hiding the truth, and inside China, people are expressing grief and outrage.
They are demanding answers from the secretive communist regime after a young doctor who warned about the coronavirus died from the disease.
In late December, 34-year old Li Wenliang tried to warn the government about the seriousness of the coronavirus. He reportedly died from it Friday.
His mother, Lu Shuyan wants to know what happened to her son and why government officials ordered him to remain silent.
"My child was summoned by the Wuhan Police Bureau at midnight. He was asked to sign an admonishment notice," Lu said. "We won't give up if they don't give us an explanation."
Appearing on the CBN News program Faith Nation, China expert Gordon Chang said he expects the coronavirus death toll to keep rising, probably into the month of May.
Chang said the Chinese public is outraged over the government's secrecy about Dr. Li's death. Citizens are also angry about deliberate underreporting and falsification about the spread of the virus – and that's placing new pressure on President Xi Jinping.
"People are now calling for freedom of speech because they realize it's the nature of the political system that allowed the virus to spread. And that's why they say the communist party is responsible for his death. That's why this has caused such an outpouring of grief and anger across China," Chang explained. "And it also comes just after a XingYi University law professor has called for Xi Jinping to step down. That shows the Chinese people are losing their fear of China's ruler."
In neighboring Japan, more cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed on that cruise ship quarantined in Yokohama. The total is now 136.
Docked in port for one week, the coronavirus outbreak on the Diamond Princess is the largest outbreak of the virus outside of China with a total of 3,700 passengers and crew quarantined onboard.
And in Wuhan, China – the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak – health officials gave a China television reporter equipped with a GoPro camera an inside look at Wuhan Union hospital quarantine wards.
Doctors and nurses wear protective gear and work six hours without rest. Some wear adult diapers because they're not allowed to undress and redress to use the toilet. Each protective gown costs the equivalent of $43.
Medical staff are kept in hotels, forced to separate themselves from their families.
Nurse Zhu Peipei is separated from her 3-year-old daughter. Holding back tears Zhu said, "I haven't seen her in two weeks. I really, really miss her. I go back to the hotel very late. When I want to see her on video chat, she's already asleep."
Dr. Tang Xin said, "The Pandora's box has been opened, unleashing the disaster, fear and illness. But there could be one thing still left in the box. That's hope. As long as hope is there, we shall overcome the difficulty."
Not only is Pandora's box open on the coronavirus, but the Chinese public's anger over the government's handling of the disease has also been unleashed as well. And it may have serious political consequences for the government.