Chinese official in Tahiti says Covid-19 didn't originate in Wuhan

9:02 am on 3 April 2020

The Chinese consul to French Polynesia says the Covid-19 virus didn't necessarily originate in Wuhan.

In an interview with Tahiti-infos, Shen Zhiliang said although the virus spread from Wuhan its origin is yet to be determined.

The consul said Covid-19 is now a common enemy and to fight it, it is important to act early, test early, isolate early and treat early.

The alarm about the virus was first raised in December by Wuhan doctor Li Wenliang who was however reprimanded for publishing his concern.

In February, Mr Li died of the disease but subsequently the ruling Communist Party apologised to his family.

Mr Shen said the efforts being made in French Polynesia now mirror those in France, noting they aim at reducing mobility.

He said sister city relationships between Chinese places and French Polynesian towns come into play, with Jiangyin now assisting Faaa and Shanghai's Changning area helping Papeete.

Mr Shen also said the Chinese company Tahiti Nui Ocean Foods, which plans to set up the South Pacific's biggest fish farm in Hao, is also helping by giving 10000 masks.

He said the project on Hao, which has had delays for many years, is on hold because the work permits of the Chinese staff due to arrive were suspended.

An Air Tahiti Nui plane has flown to China to pick up medical supplies and is due to return to Tahiti before the weekend.

The flight was organised last week amid problems to get supplies from France.

A second flight to China is expected to be organised shortly.