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CoronaVirus more infectious, but we *hope*, less deadly. Without closed borders Covid-19 uncontainable

Posted By Jo Nova On February 13, 2020 @ 4:11 am In Health,Microbiology | Comments Disabled

So Coronavirus is now CoVID-19.

We’ve been walking the cusp of containable versus pandemic for two weeks but the growth of infections outside China is just a bit too fast, a bit too random and the news suggests its easier to spread. At least the number of severe cases outside China is still only 2% of the total. But there’s a lag of a week or two, so that’s likely to rise. If it is even possible to stop, I suspect only the mass closure of borders will do.

World (ex China)      Cases: 517         Deaths: 2         Recovered: 54         Severe: 12

Singapore Case list

Click to enlarge

While Australia and the US and even India have the illusion of stability, the rise in Singapore, and on that ship is hard to ignore. Singapore is doing advanced tracking, yet still it spreads (see the chart, right). The difference between Singapore and Australia may be part luck — one superspreader versus one man who didn’t infect anyone on a whole plane.What matters then, is just how many people are superspreaders? The one ray from Singapore is that 15 people on that list are already listed as recovered. When I say we hope it’s less deadly, “hope” is the key word. If 10% of people need an ICU unit, by the time Australia has 20,000 infections, the ICU beds will be full. That’s only a bit over 10 doublings from now (about 10 weeks, unless containment measures, like tracking and isolation and perhaps anti-virals help).

What happened to the precautionary principle? Wouldn’t it be prudent to temporarily close some more doors to South East Asia just until we know how hard this virus may hit us? Buy time…

The lack of cases in Indonesia is a bad sign -- suggesting they are not even finding the cases, let alone doing reliable quarantine measures. So far it has tested only 64 people. What we are seeing may be the tip of the iceberg. A few prisoners have turned up with suspected cases in the UK. One flew in from Thailand 16 days ago (theoretically longer than quarantine). Maybe it’s just the real flu? Wait and see.

The Cruise Ship has another 39 cases. It remains the most affected “nation” by far outside China. A sombre lesson that perhaps cruise ships are not good quarantine units for an virus that spreads via aerosol. Indeed, ships resemble floating apartment blocks, and in China, that may turn out to be part of the reason things are going so pear shaped so fast. (Aside from mass censorship, totalitarian rule, and “edgy eating habits”).  The original infection (perhaps) on the ship was an 80 year old who got off the ship in Hong Kong on Jan 25th. From one infection to 175 in just 17 days. That’s 7 doublings — unless there were other asymptomatic passengers — which there may have been.

Another cruise ship is wandering the ocean as nations turn it away in fear. Some 2,257 passengers on board are apparently healthy, but Japan, Taiwan, the Phillipines and Guam have said they can’t allow the boat to dock or the people to disembark. At the same time hundreds of planes land every day. For some reason that does not scare people. The Westerdam cruise ship looks like it may be accepted by Cambodia, of all places.

The mismatch between official numbers and the scenes in China on twitter continue. Suddenly there are nice stories of people dancing in hospitals, and food deliveries to quarantined homes, but we also know that in two provinces of China private property can now be legally requisitioned for the purposes of virus control. That’s homes, vehicles, everything. Teams are roaming through student dormitories tossing their belongings into the quadrangle, and turning their rooms into makeshift hospital facilities. This is desperate.

Hilton has 150 hotels in China and they are all closed. All 33,000 rooms. Will the CCP commandeer them?

There is talk the incubation period might be as long as 24 days in a preprint on MedRxIV “Clinical characteristics of 2019 novel coronavirus infection in China. It also suggests the median incubation is just 3 days. The long 24 day estimate was “only one patient”. Thankfully, seems to be an outlier. A shorter incubation makes it easier to track contacts.



Cases Outside China



For anyone wanting a not so scary documentary look at one community in Wuhan, see this video. At least there people are getting food deliveries. It all looks calm. Better than the videos of people falling from skyscrapers in the hope of getting rice or the truckloads of animals being dumped in pits. There seem to be less scary scenes today, but is that just thanks to the scary CCP filtering? At least one journalist has recently gone missing…

CoVID quarantine plants springing up everywhere. Hmm. Not like the flu.


Tip of the iceberg?



The Worldometer table plusthe sums of non-Chinese statistics

Country, Total Cases Feb-11 Total Total Total
Territory Cases Deaths Deaths Recovered Severe
China 44,686 2,048 1,116 4,793 8,204
Japan 203 42 4
Hong Kong 49 7 1
Singapore 47 2 9 7
Thailand 33 1 10 1
S. Korea 28 1 4
Malaysia 18 3
Taiwan 18 1
Germany 16 2
Australia 15 5
Vietnam 15 1 6
USA 13 1 3
France 11 1
Macao 10 1
U.K. 8 1
U.A.E. 8 1 1
Canada 7 1
Philippines 3 1 2
India 3
Italy 3 2
Russia 2
Spain 2
Cambodia 1 1
Nepal 1
Sri Lanka 1 1
Sweden 1
Finland 1 1
Belgium 1
Total outside China 517 57 2 54 12


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