JoNova

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CoronaVirus hope: First sign of a slow down

 Infected 34,887         Deaths 724        Recovered 2,076         John Hopkins CSSE

Assuming that these official statistics from China bear a faint connection to reality (in trend, if not number) this may be a sign that the draconian quarantine is starting to work. If real, it is only a slight slowing in the rate of growth, but it’s a good sign — one I have been looking for. It is a barely visible slowing of the rate of change in the cumulative tally of victims. The exponential curve is slowing. Of course, if this takes off in Africa this would be but a pause…

Graph by Worldometers.info

The virus which had been growing at 50% a day two weeks ago, slowed to 20% last week, and 11% today. One week was such a long time ago in exponential land. Last Friday night the tally was 9,700 infected, and 213 deaths. At that point, no nation had cut off flights or refused visas. UPDATED: Saturday.

Corona Virus cases, Worldometer. Graph.

..

Sadly the brave doctor who tried to warn the world has been taken by the virus. Ominously he was only 34 — presumably with no “underlying disease”. Instead of listening to him, the Communist Govt tried to silence him. Consequently, there is anger and outrage in China and his death may become a lightning rod. The Party has created so much unnecessary pain and suffering.

Outside of China the news was as good as we could hope — everywhere bar the hapless Diamond Princess Cruise Liner in Japan but with a sudden 61 recorded infections (UPDATE: Now 64 cases). Apart from that — what matters most (selfishly) is that we are not seeing  a pattern of doubling in the West. This is significant as we approach a point 6 days after flights were closed in Australia. Though there is potentially a 14 day incubation, the average is around 6 days. Thus in theory, if the virus had made it to the first world and was sufficiently infectious, we should already be seeing half the first “uptick”. Instead most of the small number of new cases are immediate family members of people who flew in from China, usually from Wuhan. We know 5 of Australia’s 15 cases have been sent home apparently fully recovered and noninfectious.

No news is not necessarily good news — Indonesia has no cases, but apparently hasn’t done any testing either:

There is growing concern that the new coronavirus may be going undetected in Indonesia, where officials have not confirmed a single case of infection among the 272 million-strong population despite the country’s close links to China, reports Rebecca Ratcliffe, the Guardian’s south-east Asia correspondent. As of Thursday, Indonesia said it had no confirmed cases of the coronavirus and that 238 people evacuated from Wuhan.   The Australian.

The “virus ship” is now a must-see experiment. (Apologies to those involved).

The Diamond Princess now has the dubious honor of being the highest ranking country outside of China in the infection stakes. It has it’s own special category: The top three nations are China (31,213) Other (61) and Singapore (30).

Details are scarce, only that the latest Australian diagnosed says she feels fine, and that 21 of the latest batch that tested positive, are Japanese. The Australian was on the same bus as the 80 year-old man who got off the ship in Hong Kong carrying the virus. When figuring out viral behaviour, all these forensic details are important at this early stage. Epidemiologists will be tracking the boat closely.

We all want to know the health status of the 61 (hoping they are well), and to trace the path of infection. Was it only one source or were there others from the Hubei province? Were the 61 mostly close contacts or is this spreading at random through air conditioning or door knobs. Is the cabin air finely filtered?

UPDATE: Worldometer does not record any severe cases in Japan yet (and they include the ship in this tally). Only 4 “recovered”. But if this is accurate hopefully it means none of the Cruise Ship passengers has the severe form.

If these were my relatives on board, I’d be asking the government for assurance that they were not at risk of acquiring a new infection now. If so, a fully fledged quarantine flight rescue would seem humane.

UPDATE: Cruise liners are starting to ban anyone who is Chinese or has been in China in the last 30 days. It is sad to see this apply to Chinese passport holders who may not have been near China. Presumably Cruise liners are desperate to reassure passengers to stop mass cancellations.

UPDATE: The Diamond Princess visited Taiwan on the way to Japan, and the government of Taiwan is now advising thousands of people who were near the tour group at any time that day to self isolate. This shows just what a huge logistical problem the containment of an asymptomatic spread can be. Scores of healthy people may put thousands at risk.

In other news: Hong Kong is going to jail people who breach quarantine and come in from China. This may get ugly if things don’t improve in China. They may find themselves locked up for six months in Hong Kong, which still may be better than being locked in a demountable pop up hospital back in China.

A short video from the same two guys as previously, this time talking about the censorship in china (12 minutes) and that brave doctor.

 

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Rating: 9.6/10 (47 votes cast)
CoronaVirus hope: First sign of a slow down, 9.6 out of 10 based on 47 ratings

127 comments to CoronaVirus hope: First sign of a slow down

  • #
    Sweet Old Bob

    Other reports from China suggest real cases are closer to 300,000 .
    Tencent .
    REALLY hope it does not take off in Africa .

    102

    • #
      Alfred

      REALLY hope it does not take off in Africa

      Africans have amazingly good immune systems. When slavery started in the Americas, they tried white slaves but they died off too quickly. French Guiana was a place where they sent French prisoners to die.

      The local “Indians” had no immunity at all so they were no good. Eventually, they imported Africans.

      The reason why Africa remained black is because white people did not survive long there. A very different scenario from the Americas.

      BTW, I am 1/4 Egyptian and I was born there so please Jo don’t accuse me of breaking some law.

      21

    • #

      What China is doing to stop the spread of the virus, as viewed from satellites,seems excessive given the number of cases, and the tiny percentage of those who die.

      But with a communist dictatorship, they can easily reduce the numbers of cases reported, or shht down commerce.

      Maybe they are doing both.

      The small percentage of deaths make me think this disease is not as bad as many are worried about.

      An overreaction to the disease will temporarily shut supply lines for a lot of products assembled in other nations.

      There will be a delay because parts were already moving out of China in ships before the disease.

      Auto manufacturers(assembly plants) outside of China usually keep costs down by sourcing some parts in China, avoiding dual sourcing (only one set of production tools), avoiding warehouses (just in time delivery) and therefore they are very vulnerable to a China supply chain halt.

      20

  • #
    PeterS

    We all know that China is a ruthless dictatorship so it’s not surprising we are not being told the whole truth. As for the severity of the virus it’s still too early to tell if this will turn into a major pandemic. Perhaps the world-wide efforts to contain is will work. Only time will tell. Let’s hope so.

    50

    • #
      John PAK

      Under-reporting has its advantages. Panic would guarantee dispersion of asymptomatic carriers so if (for eg) Hong Kong became a second out-break city, we might see the virus flying into many world cities. We need to remain vigilant and prepare for the worst here in Sydney ( for eg)
      Currently, I’m visiting Nepean Hospital in western Sydney and it is already working at close to 100% capacity.

      40

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    Peter, I think we may have larger issues.

    Lets assume the virus may be targetting genetically specific groups – I have no proof but lets assume.

    If so the impact on SE Asia alone and the cheap labour it provides the west may go offline for quite some time as workers are quarantined or refuse to work as they are scared of infection.

    If you look at how many products come from china, this country may soon slow down as they cant get stuff out of china. Either that or the govt starts forcing local companies to re-tool to stat making stuff again like it used to. Prices will surge but at least we will be operational.Fuel might be an issue but we can liquify some of our 300 year supply of coal to make petrol etc….

    63

    • #
      PeterS

      We always have larger issues. Two of them are the new bird flu and swine flu cases. If they enter the population things will become more serious all round. As for the knock on effect to the economy and social structure, it all depends on whether the current virus continues to spread or not. On top of all this is the fact that the Democrats have started the ball rolling for the break-up of the US. They are already talking about Impeachment 2.0. Even if they win this years election (I doubt it) the Republicans will not remain silent. They will hit back with much greater force for revenge purposes. The Democrats have now changed the rules of the game. They might not see it now but eventually they will regret what they have done by illegitimately using the impeachment process to destroy the democratic way.

      40

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Its possible the silent majority in the US will rout the Left to finally deal with the rabid dog of the Dems. Deregistering the Dems or nominating them as a domestic insurgency would be a good start, then round up antifa and throw the lot in jail. About time….

        On a separate thought, Australia sources a lot of its stuff from China – if China falls apart for a period of time, until we can reboot our manufacturing sector it will hurt.

        Have a look at most of your consumer stuff and it says “made in china”…therein lies the problem…no supply chain…no business activity….

        I suspect a lot of our pharmaceuticals are also made in china…best stock up on any meds a bit just in case before the profiteering really starts…coz you know they will.

        152

        • #
          shannon

          China cant supply…….USA will have a willing market..providing, their manufacturing startup, hits 4th gear asap…..

          21

        • #
          NuThink

          I suspect a lot of our pharmaceuticals are also made in china…best stock up on any meds a bit just in case before the profiteering really starts…coz you know they will.

          Too true – I recently needed intravenous antibiotics, they were made in China. So were some of the dressings. The other dressings were made in Scandinavia and the UK. Nothing at all I could find was made in Australia. Too many eggs in one basket comes to mind, something drummed into us as kids in the 50s and 60s. Also a stitch in time saves nine.
          The supermarket shelves are stripped of baby formula in Oz leaving Aussie mothers struggling to find formula for their infants.

          10

    • #
      Yonniestone

      Speaking of Chinese products I raised the question at work (AusPost) about the thousands of Chinese parcels we get through our system and are they being checked or tracked, these parcels are just a plastic bag and contain air when they are sealed, where that air comes from is obviously the locale of the parcels processing, are these packages being considered? we’ll look into it was the answer.

      Also these Chinese parcels often have the air squeezed out of them by Posties and contractors to make them flatter for packing in delivery bags, and the air filled protective package products you can buy are mostly made in China, make one think twice about that popping bubble wrap therapy.

      131

      • #

        I think you are wise to ask. Our hot climate gives us some protection. I think this question may be most relevant to our Northern Hemisphere friends. Freezing preserves viruses. Heat, UV and dryness seems to kill them pretty well.

        I think if packages were carriers we might have seen a few random cases in the West by now. What are the odds of an infective package from China being sent and arriving more than 2 weeks ago?

        We expect that the virus is inactive in a dry package after several days of transit time, but we don’t know for sure. People who are concerned can seal suspect packages in a zip lock and put them in the sun for a couple of hours (if they don’t contain delicate goods). If the packages can’t handle heat, put the ziploc in the garage for a week or open packages outdoors with disposable gloves and wipe the goods with alcohol.

        As a guide, the SARS Virus lasted 4 days in a wet environment. But only survived 90 minutes at 56 C. In Australia, we could leave those packages in a hot car for an afternoon and they’d be fine.

        The results showed that SARS coronavirus in the testing condition could survive in serum, 1:20 diluted sputum and feces for at least 96 h, whereas it could remain alive in urine for at least 72 h with a low level of infectivity. The survival abilities on the surfaces of eight different materials and in water were quite comparable, revealing reduction of infectivity after 72 to 96 h exposure. Viruses stayed stable at 4 degrees C, at room temperature (20 degrees C) and at 37 degrees C for at least 2 h without remarkable change in the infectious ability in cells, but were converted to be non-infectious after 90-, 60- and 30-min exposure at 56 degrees C, at 67 degrees C and at 75 degrees C, respectively. Irradiation of UV for 60 min on the virus in culture medium resulted in the destruction of viral infectivity at an undetectable level.

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14631830

        Surface contaminants of the sort where workers “should’ve washed their hands with soap” are probably the largest risk, so washing goods with soap or an alcohol wipe is probably very effective.

        But for postal workers. Hmm.
        https://www.hindawi.com/journals/av/2011/734690/

        The dried virus on smooth surfaces retained its viability for over 5 days at temperatures of 22–25°C and relative humidity of 40–50%, that is, typical air-conditioned environments. However, virus viability was rapidly lost (>3 log10) at higher temperatures and higher relative humidity (e.g., 38°C, and relative humidity of >95%). The better stability of SARS coronavirus at low temperature and low humidity environment may facilitate its transmission in community in subtropical area (such as Hong Kong) during the spring and in air-conditioned environments. It may also explain why some Asian countries in tropical area (such as Malaysia, Indonesia or Thailand) with high temperature and high relative humidity environment did not have major community outbreaks of SARS.
        We and others have reported that infectivity of SARS CoV (SARS coronavirus) was lost after heating at 56°C for 15 minutes but that it was stable for at least 2 days following drying on plastic.

        https://www.hindawi.com/journals/av/2011/734690/

        140

        • #
          John PAK

          For extreme sterilization a friend built an ultra-violet ozone unit. He fitted it to a cheese factory where every night the rooms are sealed and filled with a measured volume of ozone. All organisms are oxidised by morning when air conditioning turns on prior to the workers arriving.

          80

        • #
          Yonniestone

          Jo thanks for that info its greatly appreciated, FYI you can send a parcel China to Australia in 2 business days, also the temperature in some cargo planes are controlled to around 20C while the others can be 30C to 5C , anything shipped from China currently around 10C has a chance of survival in my view and should be monitored.

          Perhaps the lack of Chinese products will encourage Australian industry to start up again, well one can dream eh? :)

          40

        • #
          Alfred

          Coronavirus is capable of living on the surfaces as long as nine days, remaining infectious, according to the group of German researchers. Scientists from Greifswald and Bochum claimed in their report released on Friday that its average lifetime is four to five days at room temperature.

          “Cold and high humidity increase their lifespan even further,” Günter Kampf from the Institute for Hygiene and Environmental Medicine at the University Medical Center in Greifswald warned.

          https://www.teletrader.com/coronavirus-can-live-up-to-9-days-on-surfaces-german-scientists/news/details/51200309?ts=1581151679260

          My eBay packets from China used to take at least a month to arrive so I guess that is one good thing about the Chinese postal system. :-)

          20

      • #
      • #
        AP

        This was on the Simpsons I am sure.

        00

  • #
    Sweet Old Bob

    Now…. cases being reported in Iraq ….
    oil sales to China and no restrictions on travel …

    50

  • #
    ivan

    Does anyone have any idea of the racial group all the victims belong to?

    I came across an article today that might give hope to most nations.
    https://vdare.com/articles/do-you-know-all-coronavirus-victims-appear-to-be-chinese-thought-not
    If it is correct then it will not be as bad as it appears – we can hope.

    71

    • #
      Treeman

      Ivan it seems that the dare article is not correct at all! Jumping at shadows is unhelpful.

      There is no ethnicity bias to the coronavirus

      Respiratory Disease Epidemiologist Tom Haupt said he had taken calls already that had “a stigmatism to them,” adding that it isn’t the first time he’s run into this situation.

      “I have seen this happen before with the SARS outbreak back in 2003 and unfortunately there has been calls that have come in too,” Haupt explained. He said the callers would wrongly blame the Chinese for the coronavirus, but pointed out that ethnicity doesn’t matter.

      “The thing that is most associated with the novel coronavirus and in people’s mind is the connection to China,” State Health Officer Jeanne Ayers added. She acknowledged the number one thing associated with the virus is its connection to China and that can lead to the misconception, but pointed out that contact with an infected person or travel to an infected area are the risk factors.

      “It’s not from a person that has come from or their ethnicity but it is travel and science,” Haupt stated.

      29

      • #
        WXcycles

        That’s self-satisfied nonsense Treeman.

        It is a valid and in fact necessary scientific question to ask, if only one culture or only one nationality, or one ethnic subset is contracting the virus, or is being disproportionately represented within cases. Sneering at anyone asking it and discussing it is what’s not helpful, and is not a part of valid science examination.

        WX – you are right and I am reading papers on this. But can both sides chill on inflammatory language. Too many flamewars lately. – jo

        131

      • #
        AP

        Another possibility is that a chinese vaccination program has made their population more susceptible. I believe reinfection with SARS can be far worse after vaccination (I am not anti vaccination- my kids are vaccinated).

        This may explain why some people have a much worse illness than others

        studies that have reported serious immunopathology in animals – rats, ferrets, and monkeys – in which animals vaccinated against coronoviruses tended to have extremely high rates of respiratory failure upon subsequent exposure in the study when challenged with the wild-type coronavirus.

        20

    • #
      yarpos

      VDare come with a fair dose of racial bias so it fits their default narrative

      32

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Ivan, there may be something in the idea
      That different different peoples of different genetic backgrounds
      have different susceptibilities to a range of infectious diseases.
      But your source is tainted by it’s racism.
      This novel Corona virus disease requires a response that is based in compassion
      NOT racism !

      53

    • #
      TinyCO2

      The majority of victims so far are Chinese but that reflects where the disease started and was circulating without any prevention measures. Chinese tourists and business people have featured highly around the World but again, they caught it at home. There’s no evidence so far that other nationalities aren’t as susceptable.

      There were examples in 1918 where certain racial groups were more affected (sicker and more fatalities)because their populations hadn’t been as exposed to diseases (eg North American and Australian natives) but the Chinese are a well exposed populous, especially in the 21st century.

      China is having some success curbing the disease because it can impose restrictions that the West might balk at. However that might eventually become impossible to maintain as there aren’t enough beds or staff to look after them. The numbers will then resume the rapid growth.

      The Chinese have done a lot of work for various diseases on creating cures from human plasma. ie giving sick people antibodies from recovered patients. That might help reduce the effects of the disease and clear beds faster. But a lot of those who recovered from SARS were deeply damaged physically so may clog up beds. I’m not sure how well Western systms would cope, let alone poorer countries.

      00

  • #
  • #
    TdeF

    Amazing. Even a slight slowing is fantastic in a pandemic which would normally be growing exponentially. So much depends on how the virus is transmitted but they all amount to human to human contact.

    Isolation is working but it means isolation within such very large communities is working too. These are mega cities by historical standards where the world’s greatest cities never exceeded one million. There are hundreds of huge cities in China alone and mega cities of 30 million.

    Perhaps for the first time in human history, whole populations know what is at stake and the closure of communities kills panic flight which spreads a virus so rapidly.

    In a world so connected by rapid jet flight, tourism and with high individual mobility, this is a good sign. If only the Chinese city governments had moved a few weeks earlier but the world is learning and as the purges start in China, the correct response will be reinforced. Pretending a plague has not started not only costs massively, it will be punishable.

    150

  • #
    Salome

    According to a Singaporean friend’s FaceBook posts, Singapore is now on orange alert and the wearing of a mask is compulsory if you have cold or flu symptoms. My friend reports that people are even wearing goggles, in case the virus is transmitted through the eyes. He has difficulty understanding that reasoning.

    90

    • #
      PeterS

      The masks are not for preventing the wearer catching the disease but to try and reduce the spread to others if the wearer has the virus but even then it’s not anywhere near perfect. They are useless to prevent a persone getting infected. The virus might be able to be caught through the eyes if the virus is airborne. However, if the virus is airborne then it can rest on any part of the face or body. Then when people touch or scratch themselves they can ingest it. The only sure way to stop the spread of an infectious disease is isolation.

      30

  • #
    Treeman

    Great post Jo. I’ve bookmarked the first two links, CSSE and Worldometers for reference. Many will be relieved to see first and hopefully continuing signs of a slowdown.

    32

  • #
    Konrad

    It was a leaked video of the pit being lined with plastic in the middle of the night that made me recheck the satellite and drone images of the hospital construction site.

    I found the marshaling area on the tree lined field just off site where they had used the greenhouse hoops and the blue plastic to hide from the eyes in the sky.

    I saw the bulldosers covering over on the 2nd. But I couldn’t work out how the stack being covered was so neat and square. How it could take the weight of the bulldosers? Now I have seen the video of the plastic boxes in use elsewhere. Death lego.

    But the virus doesn’t care what biological material sustains it, so long as the temperature is within range. In a rush to “Fix it! Fix it! Fix it!”, the Chinese may have created a biological Chernobyl. Fixing that will be an engineering nightmare.

    101

    • #
      Treeman

      Konrad

      What you are describing sounds like Atlantis cells. They’re used worldwide to provide relatively inexpensive rainwater water storage.

      13

      • #
        Konrad

        Treeman,
        no, not Atlantis Cells. I have no images of what went into the pit between the 1st and 2nd. However the plastic boxes I am referring to were so ubiquitous they were part of Chinese black humour online last month. I imagined they were just the flat pack coreflute style often seen used in earthquakes etc. But I recently saw an image of what they were talking about (Caution – images may be disturbing): https://twitter.com/i/status/1225584071721521154 Strangely they no longer appear to be in use.

        I had thought “the pit” may be a blackwater processing facility, but it was dug almost 2 stories deep and may be below the water table. Also there is another circular holding pond else where on the site built above the water table.

        The slider graphic on this page https://www.bbc.com/news/world-51235105 shows the blue tents erected off the worksite in a grass field (around center frame). The tree line between the field and worksite is retained throughout construction. To the left is the pit (grey and black rectangles).

        The entire build was turned into a television spectacular with drones and time lapse footage. There was no need to leak footage, there was total media saturation. But someone wanted to take the risk to get this video out: https://twitter.com/i/status/1224424781442883586 why? What was so important about the pit?

        In the time lapse drone footage, cranes can be seen lifting small units into the pit before backfilling starts on the 2nd. But whatever they are lifting is coming from the blue tent side, not the road delivery side.

        I don’t know what is in the pit or what was under the blue tents. But some worker seemed to wave a red flag.

        40

        • #
          Treeman

          Konrad The links don’t really help.

          How can you be certain there are no atlantis cells and the whole thing is not a stormwater bio retention basin?

          It’s a large site with water adjacent so a bio basin seems logical. The white fabric appears to be geofabric and the black boxes may well be Atlanta cells covered in thick black plastic.

          One site on which I’ve worked has multiple bio retention basins so the pond may well be a sediment pond for construction purposes.

          20

          • #
            Konrad

            There are many possible explanations, but there are anomalies that can’t be easily dismissed.

            I have experience with planning mobile crane operations from tiny 11 tonne city cranes to 250 tonne 12 wheel steer Liebherr monsters. (It’s certainly monstrous when you have to sign the blue book). I also have experience with complex drainage including bioremediation systems for large volumes of contaminated stormwater.

            I’m sorry the links don’t help. I can’t hold your hand and give you time stamps for 10s of videos. You should be able to check for yourself. 40% of the site marsh with standing water before construction. A pit lower than water table? No piping in or out? The isolation of the blue tents from the construction site? Crane lifts coming from the tree line near the tents not the access road?

            It can’t be stormwater. My most innocent explanation would be emergency blackwater containment with processing to be worked out later. But that still doesn’t tick all the boxes.

            20

            • #
              OriginalSteve

              I think that if applying cold hard logic to dealing with an outbreak of as yet fully unknown proportions, if they cant cremate bodies fast enough they need a mass grave….

              01

              • #
                Konrad

                I believe the issue is a little different. It seems they held off high volume cremations until the problem could no longer be hidden.

                Current reports have 7 crematoriums in Wuhan now working 24/7 with no services allowed, to prevent delays.

                There are unconfirmed images from Grundong, possibly indicating that attempts to hide deceased by not sending them to cremation have occurred there.

                00

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Could you provide links Konrad ?
      So we are able to see the evidence ?
      And assess it for accuracy !

      20

  • #
    Treeman

    It seems that the the first — and perhaps only — well-documented case reporting asymptomatic spread of coronavirus was based on faulty information.

    The woman, whose case was reported last week in the New England Journal of Medicine, had experienced mild symptoms and was taking fever-suppressing medication at the time she infected two colleagues, the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s public health agency, confirmed via email. The woman, from China, was on a work trip to her company’s headquarters in Bavaria.

    The revelation, first reported by ScienceInsider, the news arm of the journal Science, knocks the foundation out from under the report, which triggered significant concern after its publication because of the implications of asymptomatic spread of the virus, provisionally known as 2019-nCoV.

    16

  • #
  • #
    Treeman

    DHS: Race not a factor in coronavirus transmission

    Adding to the panic are conspiracy theories. Under the pseudonym Tyler Durden, the founder of a right-wing financial blog called ZeroHedge posted an article, “Is This The Man Behind The Global Coronavirus Pandemic?” sharing the name and personal information of a Chinese doctor and researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, accusing him of collaborating with the Chinese government to develop engineered bioweapons.

    The coronavirus exposes the history of racism and “cleanliness”

    The severity of this wave of xenophobia has even been minimized by respected educational institutions. In a now-deleted Instagram post, University of California Berkeley Health Services tried to comfort students and faculty who might be “experiencing” xenophobic thoughts and reactions, by saying bigotry and bias are “normal” and “common” during the coronavirus outbreak. The fact that some believe racist stereotyping is “normal” shows that the coronavirus isn’t creating xenophobia out of nowhere. It is uncovering what has long been baked into Western culture.

    “Misinformation, coupled with the fear that it provokes, can bring existing xenophobia to light,” said Edith Bracho-Sanchez, assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, who has worked on health issues involving international borders. “As human beings, we are afraid of the things we don’t know, but our response should be to educate ourselves, not to further spread and give oxygen to fears and misunderstandings.”

    Xenophobia and the racist stereotypes of “dirtiness”

    News of the coronavirus is amplifying a specific form of bigotry, called sinophobia — hostility against China, its people, people of Chinese descent, or Chinese culture. In America, this can even be found in our policy. For example, President Chester A. Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 that banned the immigration of Chinese laborers to the US for 10 years. The purpose of the act was to “placate worker demands and assuage prevalent concerns about maintaining white ‘racial purity.’” President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has been restricting immigration for Chinese students and scholars since 2018.

    Here in Australia I’d like to think we are better than that.

    18

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Treeman, I dont think australians are racist, I think people dont express themselves properly which leads to the perception of racism, however, people now label a lot of nonsense as racism- blame toxic PC for that.

      One thing I am not ruling out is that this may also be a “selectively impactful” virus. If we find that one genetic group is hit much harder, well it is what it is. If its disproportionately harder hitting then we have to start asking sone very uncomfortable questions.

      However, lets deal with facts for now. The other side to science is that we also need to create hypotheses to frame investigations, and sometimes it dredges up spectres of things we’d rather not think about, but lets deal with that only if we have to go there…..

      101

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      I saw a video last night on a news show of an asian woman being attacked on a New York subway and her attacker appeared to single her out for being asian and wearing a facemask, before other people could wrestle her attacker to the ground.

      Assuming the attacker was of sound mind, clearly a form of unease is forming in the USA about this also but may also indicate the MSM is not helping if it triggers people who are susceptable to being influenced easily, to commit acts of panic or anger.

      Its important to keep a cool head on all this, the MSM and secrecy certainly dont help….

      81

    • #
      Yonniestone

      Vox is a big left wing news source so the usual trigger words are, Western Culture, Xenophobia, Bigotry, China and Trump.

      Also using a US Presidents actions or words from 1882 is a real stretch and echoed the approaching Eugenics era that was adopted by academia and certain politics.

      So the premise is isolating or rejecting Communist China is bad and enabling the spread of of a potential nation destroying virus from China is good, or Chinese nationalism good Western nationalism bad, no surprises here from the mad left.

      101

    • #
      yarpos

      Really doubt we are all that much different to most places Tree

      We have the usual mix of decent people and ratbags

      60

  • #
    Treeman

    OT we’re having flooding rains here in SEQ. Dam levels are rising forecasts are for another week of rain. Malcolm Roberts and Bjorn Lomborg are ripping into “hockey schtick” Michael Mann.

    Happy on a few fronts today are we!

    [Happy but off topic. Subthread moved .... Please post more carefully. A bug means I can't move this comment and all responses to it have moved but been orphaned on the previous post which was about this topic! -- Jo]

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    William Astley

    Sweet Old Bob,

    I share your concern about the virus spreading to Africa.

    There has been one reported case in Ethiopia. Ethiopian Airlines continues to fly to China.

    There are roughly 2 million Chinese nationals working in Africa. There are 20,000 Chinese owned business in Africa and there are a number of large Chinese financed and run projects such as the $12 billion, Nigerian coastal railway.

    https://www.theafricareport.com/22909/coronavirus-africa-puts-china-in-quarantine/

    China is very serious about stopping the Wuhan virus in their own country.

    Death penalty for those concealing contacts or refusing isolation.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-health/cruise-line-bans-china-citizens-outrage-as-doctor-who-sounded-alarm-over-virus-dies-idUSKBN20003J

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    Bill In Oz

    Jo on this issue,
    We all want to hear Good News !
    But as mentioned by others
    We also need to be skeptical about these figures
    Are they fiddled with by the Chinese government ?
    For political purposes ?

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      OriginalSteve

      Possibly they are also worried about a collapse and de-investment from business….

      51

      • #
        yarpos

        Imagine a world without diseases from China and Africa

        30

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Gotta love The City in London….

        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2020/02/07/china-contract-europe-near-recession-world-holds-breath-coronavirus/

        “Chinese financial shock gathers steam as world holds its breath on coronavirus

        “A major slowdown in China could trigger recession and defaults in other parts of the world

        “Capital outflows from China have begun to accelerate and the first concrete trade data from Asia have exposed a drastic disruption of supply chains, raising the risk of a broader global financial shock unless the coronavirus is brought under control within days.

        “Analysts are already downgrading growth forecasts sharply as the de facto lockdown of Chinese cities engulfs most of its core economy, extending as far as Guangzhou, Tianjin, Ningbo and the crucial industrial hubs of the greater Shanghai region. Almost 400 million people are now under some from of coercive quarantine.

        ““We’re expecting a serious contraction in the first quarter. It looks like quite nasty numbers,” said Freya Beamish from Pantheon Macroeconomics. The group’s base case is that true GDP – as opposed to the ‘smoothed’ official figures – will fall to minus 1pc….

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    dinn, rob

    meet Dr. Charles Lieber, eminent in the field Chair of Harvard University’s Chemistry/Chemical Biology Department charged by DOJ
    https://aumladder.blogspot.com/2020/02/chair-of-harvard-universitys.html

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    • #
      dinn, rob

      eh? huh? China sending military scientists to Western universities to improve People’s Liberation Army’s capabilities. https://aumladder.blogspot.com/2020/02/china-sending-military-scientists-to.html

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      Alfred

      Dr. Charles Lieber, eminent in the field Chair of Harvard University’s Chemistry/Chemical Biology Department charged by DOJ

      There is a lot that is not highlighted by the media about Dr. Lieber.

      1- It is ridiculous to pretend that he traveled 5 times last year to Wuhan without the University being aware of it.

      2- His research has nothing whatsoever to do with bio-engineering. He is a chemist. He is trying to perfect a way of detecting individual virus using nanoscience. To have a gadget that would carry out almost instantly a great many tests on a single sample for a vast variety of viral infections – flu, coronavirus, HIV, HPV, HSV etc.

      Such a test would make it far easier to isolate those who are infected and to PREVENT the spread of an infection. It is the very tool that would make the use of biological weapons LESS attractive.

      He is clearly being smeared which suggests to me that the USA does not want its numerous biological laboratories worldwide to lose their potency.

      A new virus-sized probe can look deeper into cells than ever before, and finally allows scientists to monitor intracellular activities without disrupting the cells’ external membranes, according to a study published today in Science. Nano-size transistor penetrates cell membraneImage: Charles Lieber “This is a paper that can bring breakthrough and revolutionary insight into our understanding of intracellular structures,”

      Nanosensor peers inside cell

      It sure is a wicked world out there. :-(

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      • #
        OriginalSteve

        So hes been charged because his invention might stop a pandemic through advanced detection?

        Sounds about right.

        Presumably big pharma will sell less drugs if hes successful..hmmmmm…..

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  • #
    Tom Haddon

    Perhaps the reason for this apparent slowdown is the lack of virus detection kits. No kits, no diagnosis. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFmjSKuBAs8

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    Brian

    I would be hesitant to celebrate the apparent fall in the rate of infection. In Wuhan the hospitals including the recent 10 day constructed field hospital and converted stadiums etc are overflowing and it is probable that many infected are staying home. It is reported that police are currently going door to door to find infected individuals and quarantine them. I can believe that, it is sensible. The number of claimed recoveries varies but the official figure is 2,084. A disturbingly small number given the 724 admitted deaths. Assessing the mortality rate as deaths divided by infections is misleading. It should be deaths divided by recoveries. The problem is that as hospital intensive care beds fill and people are put into temporary, overcrowded facilities like stadiums while simple things like oxygen bottles run out the death rate escalates.

    Outside China there are now 12 cases in the US, 2 of them person to person transfer in country. Australia has 15 cases. It will take a few weeks to establish whether the virus is spreading.

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  • #

    Given that people from Wuhan could fly into the West Friday week ago I would expect that we would already have seen some person to person infection. The only cases so far appear to be close contacts — immediate family, which is encouraging. Though it is possible that infected arrivals may only be starting to shed now, and thus it may be another week or two before we see secondary infections start to show symptoms.

    What is happening on the Diamond Princess is very important. sigh.

    But yes, I agree that we want to see deaths/recovery — but if recovery takes 4 weeks and death takes 2, even that statistic will be biased high. The number of recovered only overtook the death tally a week ago, so that ratio has been rapidly changing. And in reality what we need a large population samples of antibodies which show the subclinical infections. The most important numbers will be deaths / total infections.

    I repeat, average incubation is 6 days, not 14.

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    • #
      bobl

      Yes the ship will tell all about the statistics when managed in a first world country (Japan) but remember Jo, The Coronavirus is not a hot weather phenomenon, these viruses die off over Summer. That’s why Indonesia, Philippines etc aren’t big infection zones – they’re in the tropics.

      I expect the Australian infections will recover rapidly too. As contagious as this might be, hot weather is going to end it.

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    • #
      Brian

      Deaths + recovery = total infections.

      41

  • #
    Warwick

    How does anyone know. The Chinese have been coming down hard on Journalists for being too honest. They are now enforcing Home Quarantining so these numbers are invisible. This seems more about “Lies” buried in Enigmas hiding inside Riddles!!!

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    skeptikal

    The exponential curve is slowing.

    There may be another reason why the curve is slowing…

    China may have hit a limit on the resources it has to detect new cases.

    https://www.ccn.com/professor-says-coronavirus-infecting-50000-day-he-may-be-right/

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  • #

    Diamond Princess update:

    Of the most recent 44 found to have the virus, 21 are in their 70s and six are in their 80s, Japan’s public broadcaster NHK reported, citing the Ministry of Health.

    Alan Steele, 58, is among the dozens of people aboard the cruise liner who have since learned they have the virus. Steele and his wife, Wendy, married last month and were celebrating their honeymoon with a cruise vacation that has turned into a nightmare.

    “I have been infected and am being transferred to hospital,” Alan Steele said via Facebook Messenger on Friday. “Must say I am not showing any symptoms at the moment.”

    And to give people some idea of just how hard this is to contain, Taiwan is now advising people who live or visited areas in Taiwan that ship passengers also visited to self isolate.

    The authorities have not yet said whether any of the 61 infected people were among a reported 1,000 passengers who got off the ship and toured northern Taiwan on Jan. 31.

    “Due to the Wuhan epidemic, anyone who had been to the following locations from 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 31 (http://bit.ly/2SpSxeT), please conduct self-health management until Feb. 14,” according to an electronic announcement the CECC issued to Taiwan’s mobile phone users via the country’s Public Warning System (PWS).

    Based on the CECC’s interpretation, self-health management means that people are advised to avoid going out, and if they must leave their home, they should wear a surgical face mask at all times. If they have a fever or symptoms of respiratory illness, they are advised to call the CECC hotline at 1922.

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  • #
    WXcycles

    It’s dropping way too fast Jo, it should have slowed while going upwards, then flattened, then slowly dropped away. But instead this went from fast up to fast down.

    Who can swallow that?

    30

    • #

      Not so WX. As I said, this is not the total number of cases dropping — which would be implausible. We are only talking about the rate of the new additional cases and given the extreme quarantine measures applies, I find it believable.

      You are mistaking the graph above for total infections which is still looking very exponential, but has a tiny slight “elbow” off the previous direction. Think derivative of infections.

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      • #
        WXcycles

        I knew it was the new cases Jo, I just think the change in the change is too sudden and too great to be credible. The cooperative and also uncooperative lock-down process has decreased data flows, not increased it. There are now ~400 million Chinese in lock-down. Just look at the recent videos of positive cases being told at hospitals that they can not take any more people, and are forcd to send them home to their families. And the infected are saying in reply they will just infect their entire family if they must go to their homes and wait it out. I think we’re looking at that lack of data.

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        • #

          That may be, but I’ve been watching the #coronavirus river of tweets, and even 1-2 weeks ago hospitals in Wuhan were turning people away and people were dying undiagnosed at home, so that’s not a new development.

          The data is what it is, as warned at the start “assuming this bears a faint connection to reality”.

          What I’m watching more closely are the figures from everywhere outside China. Esp Australia / US / UK where the curve has flattened ex for That Ship.

          I’m hopeful the West can gain control and then have the resources to help those poor Chinese sods caught up in this disaster.

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          • #
            WXcycles

            Jo, I thoroughly trust and respect your judgement and perspectives, I hope you’re right. I also hope humanity learns some important lessons from this. Agree re the Japanese cases to date, in particular. The lack of mortality and the very high a-symptomatic rate is what sticks out for me.

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          • #
            Bulldust

            There is some suspicion that a Chinese equivalent of a ‘Ministry of information’ is manipulating the stats for economic purposes. They want to get the Chinese economy rolling again after the (extended) New Year’s holidays, and showing ever increasing infection rates would counter that endeavor. It’s all wild speculation of course, but hey, we are talking about the government that threatened their doctors for speaking out about the virus in the early days, so…

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  • #

    Post updated. Graph updated. 3 new cases on the cruise ship. Total tallies updated.

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  • #
    Brian

    Indeed, the rate has increased again on the 7th and the previous slight drop will be a minor deviation on a cumulative plot, similar to the anomalous rise on Jan 27. So far the best cumulative fit seems to be a geometric progression with a factor of around 1.35.

    40

  • #
    Treeman

    Thanks Jo

    Noted the uptick on Worldometer Daily new Cases for Feb 7 and hope it’s not a portend of the Jan 29 uptick which kept going up. Also noted the tiny slight “elbow” off the previous direction on the Total Cases graph. What is interesting about worldometers info is the Growth factor Daily cases which has been above 1 for the last week just below 1 until Feb 7. According their rationale there was a positive sign from Feb 4 to Feb 6.

    30

  • #
    Bill In Oz

    One of the best articles I have seen so far !
    An interview by a Straits Times journalist with a Dr Peng from one of the hospitals in Wuhan
    Dated the 6/1/2020

    https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/reporters-notebook-life-and-death-in-a-wuhan-coronavirus-icu

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  • #
    Meglort

    This was interesting in support of the mode of operation of the virus:
    https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/reporters-notebook-life-and-death-in-a-wuhan-coronavirus-icu

    “However, if the count of lymphocytes continues to fall, it is dangerous because the virus continues to replicate. Once a patient’s immune system is demolished, it is hard to save a patient.”

    40

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  • #
    pat

    for the record:

    4 Oct 2019: NYT: Australia Just Had a Bad Flu Season. That May Be a Warning for the U.
    By Donald G. McNeil Jr.
    Australia had an unusually early and fairly severe flu season this year…
    This year’s Australian outbreak began in April, two months earlier than usual, and persisted into October…

    Alarming early reports (LINK) said the number of deaths might surpass those in 2017, but that did not quite happen. (The country did have more positive flu tests than ever before, but that was in part because far more tests were performed.)…
    Direct comparisons of mortality rates are difficult, because Australia counts only deaths in which a hospital declares influenza the cause; there were 662 this year, and 745 in 2017.
    In 2017, Australia’s deadly season set off alarm bells in Britain, where tabloids featured headlines about the “killer Aussie flu.”…
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/04/health/flu-australia-america.html

    14 Jan: BrisbaneTimes: Queensland’s record flu season killed five a week in 2019
    By Stuart Layt
    Queensland suffered through its worst year for flu for nearly two decades in 2019, with an average of five people a week dying from the disease.
    Queensland Health has confirmed 264 people died as a direct result of contracting influenza in 2019, with 68,148 lab-confirmed cases of the disease officially recorded.
    That was an increase of over 500 per cent on the previous year’s total of 43 deaths, after a relatively quiet flu season in 2018.
    The flu season in 2017 also resulted in 260 deaths, but with a lower number of overall confirmed cases, with 56,618 that year…

    The state Health Department confirmed 2019’s numbers were the highest annual number of influenza notifications in Queensland since the disease was made notifiable in 2001…
    “Last year’s influenza season started particularly early, partly caused by people returning from overseas where immunisation programs may not be as formalised and mature as Australia’s,” Dr Dhupelia said…
    https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/queensland-s-record-flu-season-killed-five-a-week-in-2019-20200114-p53rgv.html

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  • #
    pat

    6 Feb: Deutsche Welle: How will the coronavirus affect the world economy?
    Less consumption, idle factories, broken global supply chains. It’s not just the Chinese economy that is suffering from the spread of the coronavirus — but the moment of truth is yet to come.
    by Insa Wrede
    The outbreak of the coronavirus is meanwhile rippling through the global manufacturing supply chains, affecting especially the car industry. The world’s fifth-largest carmaker, Hyundai, for example said on Wednesday it had to close all its car factories in South Korea because it had been running out of components made in China…

    Executives at a number of carmakers and auto parts suppliers warned that plants in Europe and the United States were just weeks away from being forced to close.The entire industry depends on a global network of suppliers, with parts originating in China often passing through companies in several countries before being built into cars in Europe and the US.

    In Germany, carmakers such as VW and BMW have announced the temporary closure of their production plants in China, saying they expect to resume production next week in accordance with guidelines from authorities. However, those plans could be reviewd if the coronavirus continues to spread.
    Industry analysts already say the impact of the virus on car sales and parts procurement could be bigger than from the outbreak of the SARS epidemic in 2003…

    Ifo has calculated that a drop of 1% in China’s GDP due to the coronavirus could cut German GDP by 0.06% now…READ ALL
    https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-outbreak-china-and-the-world-economy-worse-than-sars/a-52253833

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  • #
    Meglort

    From the stats at the top of the page being:
    “Infected 34,887 Deaths 724 Recovered 2,076 John Hopkins CSSE”

    This bothers me.

    Because from a data set perspective, these numbers are measuring different points in time of the studied population. These aggregate numbers are measuring a hypothetical cohort of 2800 people that have Died or Recovered from the virus. The ratio at that point in time for that cohort is the bother.

    There is another cohort being those individuals that are known to have become Infected with the virus but have not yet resolved to one of the two allowed final states, which will from the sounds of things take about 3 weeks to resolve for each.

    30

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    The Chinese reaction has been so severe, and so difficult to keep from world view, that one has to
    suspect considerably more here than meets the eye.
    The Chinese are always subject to political considerations, which often trump what we in the west might generally call
    ‘Human Values.
    Consider: an already difficult situation with Hong Kong was made far worse. It is unlikely to gain independence no matter how
    large the psychic split gets, but major additional estrangement will kill it as the transfer financial center for the mainland.
    Consider: the split with Taiwan was already widening. A population there might feel the chaos of the refugee travel back and forth
    might represent a deliberate attempt by China to infect the island. If there were ever a moment for independence, it might come
    in the immediate aftermath of this crisis.
    Consider: no western company executive will again be likely to be sanguine about single or majority sourcing of manufacturing in Wuhan.
    This reinforces all the negative stereotypes of risks in China and sets them back decades; one can trade with them at arms length but they are
    not like other countries. There are a few international conventions that we follow; respect for the broadcast spectrum, laws of the sea, etc.
    Cooperation in epidemic control is one of these. While the notion that this is an escaped bio-weapon is probably fever-swamp BS, the secrecy
    and dissembling has a similar effect on world health. This is Important. The Chinese were virtually guaranteeing the spread of this virus
    by their secrecy. The world may not see this as much different that a deliberate spread.
    For centuries China was a society closed to the world, by their choice. The modern world wouldn’t permit this. But it will permit a psychic isolation,
    and a cultural mistrust.

    The odd nutcase in the west beating an Asian looking person wearing a mask is clearly the act of a deranged person, but it is also the symptom of what may be a cultural
    shift.

    At what point the the sequence of MERS, and SARs, and now this become a deep seated view that there is simply a flaw in the Chinese culture and we have to be more careful?

    Combining Chinese misbehaviour with Chinese misfortune is not intellectually rigorous, but that’s the way our minds work (see “Thinking Fast & Slow”).

    As a resident of a port city, I am aware that when ships from a few undeveloped countries dock, the crew is not allowed on shore, for the same reason that we get a
    whole bunch of shots before we go to certain countries. This has been an issue for a few professional civil libertarians, but the health authorities have been unbending.
    But now the world’s most populous country is temporarily on that list.

    It is likely that in a few months things will appear to get back to normal. But things may never really be the same again.

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  • #
    Treeman

    Seven new cases in Singapore Published three hours ago. There are now 40 cases in Singapore.

    PM Lee said Singapore is stepping up measures because some new cases cannot be traced to the source of infection, suggesting that the virus is probably already circulating in the population… he expects to see more cases with no known contact with any other case in the coming days, despite efforts to do contact tracing and quarantine close contacts of confirmed cases. See here for more detail

    10

  • #
    beowulf

    For what it’s worth, here is the latest cluster of cases from France:

    • A Briton contracted the virus in Singapore at a business conference at the Grand Hyatt Hotel attended by 94 foreigners (including some from Wuhan) on Jan 20-22
    • Flew to a French ski resort at the height of the ski season
    • Infected 5 others with close contact at the resort, plus 6 more being closely monitored for the virus
    • Briton flew back to UK
    • Subsequently diagnosed with coronavirus in UK
    • 1 new victim is a child that attended 2 local French schools which are being closed, with pupils monitored

    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/02/08/schools-closed-as-five-brits-including-9-year-old-stricken-with-coronavirus-in-france/

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    Treeman

    New study an eye-opener on how coronavirus is spreading and how little we know. A study published Friday in the medical journal JAMA found that 41% of the first 138 patients diagnosed at one hospital in Wuhan, China, were presumed to be infected in that hospital.

    This is big news. In plain English, it means that nearly half of the initial infections in this hospital appear to have been spread within the hospital itself. This is called nosocomial transmission. (Doctors use big words to hide bad things: Nosocomial means caught it in the hospital.)

    30

  • #
    Treeman

    First spotted the above study on CNN Live TV

    Conclusion at CNN:

    Where is the novel coronavirus going next?
    Only time will tell. The next few days and weeks will determine:

    If sustained transmission begins in other countries, which unfortunately seems likely.
    If it does, whether it can be contained, which unfortunately seems unlikely.
    How severe the illness is among those who are infected, which we still don’t know.
    Until we know this critical information, we won’t be able to assess how bad this novel coronavirus is going to get and which control measures have the best chance of slowing spread.

    10

  • #
    angech

    Every survivor has antibodies ( Immunoglobulin) to the disease. This could be used to treat some of the more severely ill new sufferers while waiting for a cure to be developed

    10

  • #
    Stephen Wilde

    The death/recovery ratios are currently valueless because of the small number of completed sickness cycles and the fact that we are only hearing about the hospital treated cases.
    The truth requires knowledge of what is going on in the millions of apartments and homes in the affected regions.
    Most likely we will get a definitive answer from those cases identified and supervised on the cruise ships and our isolation units.
    That requires several more weeks for the sicknesses to run their course.
    The timescale appears to need 5 weeks from initial infection to recovery or death.
    So far , it has only been five weeks since the Chinese acknowledged a problem.
    We should try not to panic over Chinese data that is highly unlikely to be helpful and may be actively misleading.

    20

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    Bill In Oz

    Disturbing news :
    This source is a noted anti Beijing online media based in New York But they do have links in China.
    This article cites information on the number of cremations happening in Wuhan at one government run cremation business.
    It seems the number of cremations has jumped 4-5 times above the usual rate in pre Corona virus Wuhan.
    https://www.theepochtimes.com/exclusive-funeral-homes-in-coronavirus-ground-zero-cremating-dozens-of-bodies-a-day_3228938.html

    20

  • #
    Ronnie Chua

    This drop is probably not because of a genuine slowdown but due to the Chinese Government’s change of definitions…
    Those who test positive but show no symptoms are now removed from “infected” counts! Probably to help bring down the figures, knowing it will lose face on the 9th of February otherwise.
    As Zero Hedge reported earlier today, “the Chinese National Health Commission quietly changed its definition of Coronavirus “confirmed case” in the latest guideline dated 7th February. As a result, going forward patients who tested positive for the virus but have no symptoms will no longer be regarded as confirmed.”
    https://www.naturalnews.com/2020-02-10-china-changes-definition-of-infected-to-rig-officially-reported-coronavirus-numbers.html

    10

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