Most Britons believe China is to blame for coronavirus outbreak, poll finds – as ministers warn it will not be ‘business as usual’ after crisis
- Poll finds 56 per cent of Britons say China is to blame for spread of coronavirus
- Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said will need to be a ‘deep dive’ into China role
- He added that ‘there is no doubt we can’t have business as usual after this crisis’
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
More than half of Britons believe China is to blame for the coronavirus pandemic, a poll revealed today.
Research for MailOnline showed 56 per cent hold Beijing responsible for the spread of the infection around the world.
There is also overwhelming support for a worldwide ban on ‘wet’ animal markets – where scientists believe the disease might have originated in Wuhan, according to the survey by Redfield & Wilton.
The findings emerged after Dominic Raab took aim at China, saying it faces ‘hard questions’ about the crisis.
The Asian superpower revised the death toll in coronavirus ground zero Wuhan upwards by 50 per cent overnight, revealing that nearly 4,000 people have died from the illness in the area.
Research for MailOnline showed 56 per cent hold Beijing responsible for the spread of the infection around the world
In a social media post, the city government added 1,290 deaths to the tally, bringing the toll to 3,869.
Officials said many fatal cases were ‘mistakenly reported’ or missed entirely in an admission that will fuel growing global doubts about Chinese transparency.
The poll found 56 per cent of Britons believe China is to blame for the spread of the virus, compared to 26 per cent who said the opposite.
Some 18 per cent said they were not sure.
Three quarters want ‘wet’ markets banned, and 54 per cent said it would be appropriate for coronavirus to be known as the ‘Wuhan Virus’ – despite the World Health Organisation saying geographical tags are discriminatory.
Foreign Secretary Mr Raab told a Downing Street briefing last night there will have to be a ‘deep dive’ into the facts around the outbreak.
‘I think there absolutely needs to be a very, very deep dive after the event review of the lessons – including of the outbreak of the virus – and I don’t think we can flinch from that at all, it needs to be driven by the science,’ he said.
He said the UK had good co-operation with China in relation to the return of UK nationals and in procurement of equipment.
‘So we ought to look at all sides of this and do it in a balanced way, but there is no doubt we can’t have business as usual after this crisis, and we will have to ask the hard questions about how it came about and how it couldn’t have been stopped earlier.’
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said last night there would have to be a ‘deep dive’ into the facts around the outbreak, which started in the Chinese city of Wuhan
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Chinese President Xi jinping before a meeting in Beijing in January. Mr Trump has accused the WHO of parroting erroneous information about the virus fed to it by China
Donald Trump halted $500 million of funding to the WHO this week and slammed the body that had ‘failed in its basic duty’ in its response to coronavirus by failing to stand up to China.
He said yesterday his government was ‘doing a very thorough examination of this horrible situation,’ while US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Chinese ‘need to come clean’ on what they know.
But China’s foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told Thursday’s daily briefing that WHO officials ‘have said multiple times there is no evidence the new coronavirus was created in a laboratory.’
It came after scrutiny of Wuhan’s Institute of Virology – first reported on by the MailOnline in January – came to head this week after The Washington Post published leaked State Department cables warning of the lab’s safety standards in 2015.
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