Beijing: China has been covering up epidemics within the country for a long time and helped spread four pandemics around the world, said a report in New York Post that warned that Covid might not be the last.

An outbreak of the deadly Asian flu was reported in several parts of Singapore and Hong Kong in 1957, but it eventually spread to the rest of the world as well.

Even though China did not play any role in the creation of this deadly influenza, the country did play a role in its spread, the publication said.

The epidemic was first reported in Guizhou province in China in early 1957 and it later spread to other parts of the country. However, the authorities kept the epidemic hidden even after reporting tens of thousands of deaths.

The infected people travelled from China to Hong Kong and Singapore leading to the spread of the flu globally killing over one million people in two years.

Similarly, the Hong Kong flu was reported in the city's Chamber of Commerce in 1968. The members of the chamber were aware that an epidemic was spreading in China, however, the Chinese authorities did not alert the world and allowed it to spread globally causing another one million deaths.

The SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) epidemic broke out in 2002. Patient Zero was a snake seller in the Guangdong province of China who died shortly. Hundreds of other cases were also registered in the country, but the authorities lied about the disease for months, accusing "outside forces" of carrying out a "bioterrorist" attack.

The World Health Organisation (WTO) was informed about the outbreak in February 2003. However, the intelligence services of Canada had detected and publicaly reported the outbreak in China.

Eleven per cent of people infected with SARS, a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus, died.

The flu could have killed tens of millions of people worldwide if its existence was not revealed by China. SARS was highly infectious but it was not airborne. Only 8,469 cases were reported in June 2003.

As the world continues to struggle with the coronavirus pandemic for the past two years, many still believe that it originated from China.

People who earlier used to believe that the outbreak originated from a bat cave, including World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, also believe the consensus of Covid originating from China's Wuhan lab, the piece read.

An early investigation into the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus by a World Health Organization (WHO) advisory group suggested that the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan, China played an important role in the amplification of the pandemic.

At the present time, currently available epidemiological and sequencing data suggest ancestral strains to SARS-CoV-2 have a zoonotic origin with the closest genetically related viruses being beta coronaviruses, identified in Rhinolophus bats in China in 2013 (96.1 pc) and Laos in 2020 (96.8 pc).

Early investigations suggested that the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan played an important role early in the amplification of the pandemic with several of the patients first detected in December 2019 having a link to the market and environmental samples from the market testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. There are, however, further studies needed to follow up on several gaps in the knowledge.

The opinion piece read that perhaps the Wuhan Institute of Virology are even now genetically engineering new "unrestricted bioweapons" adding that another plague from China is likely to hit us again.