One primary reason the Chinese government failed to contain the outbreak is because corruption and incompetence are inherent features of tyrannical rule. The CCP can’t point to democratic elections to obtain the consent of the governed, so they instead rely on techniques like a massive patronage machine to cultivate loyalty. Political reliability is a major prerequisite for filling any of the millions of positions in the vast Chinese bureaucracy, which tends to inculcate a culture of blind order-following, telling one’s superiors what they want to hear, and leveraging one’s position for personal advantage.
At the same time, the CCP, like any tyranny, uses violent political repression to frighten the populace against challenging its rule. Both freedom of speech and freedom of the press are sharply restricted there — and anyone perceived as a threat to CCP rule gets a treatment straight out of 1984. There are reportedly about a million Uighur Muslims in horrific re-education camps in western China — essentially, the CCP is attempting to commit cultural genocide in a fit of paranoia.