Coronavirus, also termed COVID-19, has now caused 1,369 death across the world with a further 60,000 cases. With the virus showing no sign of stopping, political scientist at the University of Chicago, Dali Yang has claimed it could reach levels similar to that of the Chernobyl disaster.
Mr Yang added: “This is clearly a crisis of enormous proportions.
“Failure will be blamed on the system and especially on Xi, who’s staked out his personal leadership role.”
“It will be a crisis of Chernobyl proportions, especially because we will have to contend with the virus for years to come.
“Those who have sustained losses, in particular, will be asking questions, as has happened before in the aftermath of a crisis.”
The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear accident which initially killed 31 in an explosion.
Some estimates, however, have placed the death toll in thousands with the Union of Concerned Scientists estimating between 4,000 to 27,000 people died from the aftermath.
The Soviet Union was later accused of covering up the true details of the disaster in order to maintain its international reputation during the Cold War.
In support of Mr Yang, Zhao Suisheng, a political scientist at the University of Denver said public opinion was shifting to China’s failures in dealing with the spread of the disease.
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Indeed, the political fallout from the outbreak of the contagion has already led to a purge within the Chinese Communist Party.
The party chiefs of the Hubei province and of Wuhan were both fired this week.
Wuhan has also been placed into lockdown following the deadly spread of the disease.
Due to the worsening situation, the city of Shiyan has also adopted “wartime measure” which include banning residents from leaving their homes.
A government notice reads: “Residents without prior approval are forbidden from leaving their home, building or residential compound.”
The order will be implemented for 14 days according to a report from China’s state-run Global Times.
Anyone suspected of being infected with the disease will also be moved to a medical observation bay, officials warned.
Although the crisis continues to spread across the globe, the World Health Organisation warned this week that it could take 18-months to create, test and rollout.