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ITV aired its brand new coronavirus documentary Outbreak: The Virus that Shook the World on Tuesday night and it left viewers utterly horrified.
The documentary tracked the story of the Covid-19 virus, which has now killed more than two million people, from the day it was first transmitted to a human, and claimed the Chinese authorities tried to cover up that it could spread from human to human.
Chinese healthcare workers and journalists revealed on the programme that they had been forced to stay silent or lie about the nature of the virus.
Heartbreaking footage of wet markets played on the screen with live animals crammed in cages, and the documentary reminded viewers that they are still operating, meaning a new virus could be created any day.
Other footage shows a man filming inside a funeral parlour truck, as it piled up with body bags despite the authorities at the time falsely assuring the public they had nothing to fear.
Dr Yi-Chun Lo, from Taiwan Centres for Disease Control, said: "It could have been avoided at the beginning if China was transparent about the outbreak and was quick to provide necessary information to the world."
Harrowing footage showed crowded hospitals while Chinese officials reportedly denied the virus was infectious
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The documentary also depicted how various world leaders and governments reacted to the pandemic, shining a light on the failings of the UK government.
Images and videos of overwhelmed hospitals in China, Italy and the UK showed unimaginable horrors as healthcare workers battled a virus they knew nothing about.
One viewer tweeted: "WET MARKETS SHOULD BE BANNED. That was heartbreaking seeing those animals. #outbreak ".
Shocking footage from wet markets showed exotic animals crammed into cages
The documentary explained how the virus was at first ruled to be barely transmissible between humans
"Anyone watching #outbreak on ITV and just getting more and more livid at our government?!" asked another.
A third ranted: "I’m fuming. So, so angry… The death in my family, the mental health aspect of isolating and the the financial impact. ALL COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED. I’m so angry #outbreak#itv#CovidUK#pandemic".
"Now Don’t anyone dare say it doesn’t f*ckin exist! #outbreak," commented a fourth.
Journalists claimed they were banned from reporting on the outbreak at first
Footage played of a man dying in hospital while his son filmed in shock
One moving segment showed a British man named Charlie Williams detail his tragic experience losing his father last year during the pandemic, for which he blames the government's mishandling of the pandemic.
He said: "The government at the time were telling us you know, we’ll be okay you know, we’re British, we've got the NHS, they're ready for this and we’ll be okay.
"My father was in a care home at the time. And it didn't really strike me that my father would be at risk. If anything, I thought my father would be probably even more safer in his care home.
"But as we know, things spiralled very much out of control."
* Outbreak: The Virus that Shook the World is available to watch back on ITV Player