Supposedly the 2003 SARS-CoVid-1 epidemic struck suddenly and there was no time to prepare. In reality, the first cases happened in Guangdong province in late November 2002. Chinese communist officials didn't inform the World Health Organization (WHO) about SARS until February 2003. When it started to spread to other regions of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC), the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) covered that up. Eventually, SARS was reported to have killed just under eight hundred people in the PRC, but in reality there may have been several thousand more.
Dr. Jiang Yanyong in April 2003 wrote a letter exposing the true number of SARS patients in Beijing, which was several times higher than the official number. His letter was publicized by Western media. The party was forced to respond. They fired several Beijing officials and put Dr. Jiang under surveillance. The CCP has never admitted there was a SARS cover-up. But afterwards, the Chinese Communist Party did create what was supposed to be a fail-safe system to track contagions. It failed.
The system put in place focused on having doctors across the PRC put patient data into a centralized database. This way central authorities could monitor if there are any new outbreaks. It supposes to work in theory. In July 2019, eight thousand Chinese health officials conducted a massive online drill focusing on how to handle an infectious disease outbreak. In the style of the 2002 SARS outbreak, the officials raced to test how quickly and effectively they could track, identify, and contain the virus, including by notifying Beijing. It worked in the simulation. But in the December 2019 Wuhan SARS-CoV-2 outbreak it did not work in reality, because the Chinese Communist Party's political apparatus makes it impossible for even the best design system to function properly.