BBC’s Covid-19 Reporters: ‘I Wanted to Show the Reality but was Deeply Troubled by What I Saw’

When it comes to epidemics, Fergus Walsh, the BBC’s medical correspondent for the past 14 years, is something of a veteran. “I reported from Vietnam in 2005 on H5N1 bird flu,” he says. “Then, in 2009, we had H1N1 swine flu. That disease killed a lot of people, but it also turned out to be comparatively mild. Though there had been concern that the next big pandemic was coming, swine flu lulled a lot of the world into a false sense of security. Still, the warning signs have been there for a long time: we also had Sars [in 2002-04] and Mers [first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012], two other coronaviruses.”

Thanks to this, when he first saw the images coming out of Wuhan in January, alarm bells rang. “And from then on, it has been non-stop: just more and more intense.”

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