China's Wuhan shuts down transport as global alarm mounts over virus spread - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15061006
The 11-million industrial hub of Wuhan in China has been locked down because of a new coronavirus. Public transport has been suspended and people have been advised not to leave the city. Of several hundred infected 17 people are reported to have died. However, the real number of infected is likely to be in the thousands. The virus has already spread to most of China and half a dozen countries, including the US. Human-to-human transmission is via respiratory pathway. The WHO is scheduled to make a decision tomorrow, Thursday, on whether or not to call an emergency of international concern.

The virus is supposed to have started at a market where wild animals including civets and wolf pups are sold for special dishes.

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Deaths from China’s new flu-like virus rose to 17 on Wednesday, with more than 540 cases confirmed, leading the city at the center of the outbreak to close transportation networks and urge citizens not to leave as fears rose of the contagion spreading.

The previously unknown coronavirus strain is believed to have emerged from illegally traded wildlife at an animal market in the central city of Wuhan. Cases have been detected as far away as the United States.

Contrasting with its secrecy over the 2002-03 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 800 people, China’s communist government has this time given regular updates to try to avoid panic as millions travel for the Lunar New Year.

After a meeting at its Geneva headquarters on Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it would decide on Thursday whether to declare the outbreak a global health emergency, which would step up the international response.

If it does so, it will be the sixth international public health emergency to be declared in the last decade.

“This is an evolving and complex situation,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

As it seeks to stop the spread of the virus, Wuhan’s local government said it would close all urban transport networks and suspend outgoing flights from the city as of 10 a.m. on Thursday (0200 GMT), state media reported, adding that the government said citizens should not leave the city unless there were special circumstances.

The measure was intended to “effectively cut off the transmission of the virus, resolutely curb the spread of the epidemic, and ensure the health and safety of the people,” state media cited Wuhan’s virus task-force as saying.

Wuhan’s move was praised by Ghebreyesus as a “very strong” measure that could minimize the risk of contagion.

“If Wuhan is taking such drastic measures, we must assume widespread community transmission in this central China megacity & transport hub,” Lawrence Gostin, a public health expert at Georgetown University Law School in Washington, wrote in a tweet.

With more than 11 million people, Wuhan is central China’s main industrial and commercial center, home to the country’s largest inland port and gateway to its Three Gorges hydroelectric dam.

The latest death toll in Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital, rose to 17 by midday on Wednesday, state television quoted the provincial government as saying.

However, the virus has already spread beyond the city to population centers including Beijing, Shanghai, Macau and Hong Kong.

The official China Daily newspaper said 544 cases had now been confirmed in the country. Thailand has confirmed four cases, while the United States, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan have each reported one.

Britain advised its citizens against all but essential travel to Wuhan.

Many Chinese were canceling trips, buying face masks, avoiding public places such as cinemas and shopping centers, and even turning to an online plague simulation game as a way to cope.

“The best way to conquer fear is to confront fear,” said one commentator on China’s Twitter-like Weibo.

China’s National Health Commission Vice Minister Li Bin said the virus, which can cause pneumonia and has no effective vaccine, was being spread via breathing. Symptoms include fever, coughing and difficulty breathing.

“I feel fearful, because there’s no cure for the virus,” said Fu Ning, a 36-year-old woman in Beijing. “You have to rely on your immunity if you get an infection. It sounds very scary.”

The WHO’s head of emergencies program, Mike Ryan, said the priority was to find the roots of how the virus was passing between people.

Fears of a pandemic initially spooked markets but they regained their footing on Wednesday, with investors citing the robust response from authorities as reassuring.

But companies with operations in China, from Foxconn (2317.TW) to Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL] and HSBC Holdings (HSBA.L), warned staff to avoid Wuhan and handed out masks.

The European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) said in a risk assessment that further global spread of the virus was likely. “The likelihood of case importation is highest in countries with the greatest volume of people traveling to and from Wuhan,” the ECDC’s director Andrea Ammon said in a statement.

Airports globally stepped up screening from China.

Russia strengthened its sanitary and quarantine controls, and Singapore and Saudi Arabia started screening all passengers from China.

The Chinese-ruled gambling hub of Macau confirmed its first case of pneumonia linked to the coronavirus and tightened body-temperature screening measures.

A first case emerged in Chinese-ruled Hong Kong, media reported, with the patient arriving via high-speed railway from the mainland, and Mexico was investigating a potential case.

North Korea banned foreign tourists, several foreign tour operators said. Some qualifying boxing matches for the 2020 Olympics set for Wuhan were canceled and women’s football qualifiers were shifted to Nanjing.

Reuters
#15061024
The new virus is quite close to the SARS virus or SARS CoV and it is expected to be as deadly and infectious as SARS. 2019-nCoV’s death rate could be 2%, similar to Spanish flu. China released the genetic sequence of a new coronavirus in Wuhan. Phylogenetic analysis shows the coronavirus to be closely related to SARS CoV, the virus responsible for the SARS pandemic which began in China in 2003. Further analysis is necessary, but this preliminary analysis shows the virus is also quite similar to other SARS-related coronaviruses which appear to be endemic to the area.

Image

China’s deadly coronavirus may have the same death rate as Spanish flu, an expert has warned.

Deaths from the new virus rose to 17 on Wednesday with hundreds of cases now confirmed, increasing fears of widespread contagion.

The previously unknown flu-like coronavirus strain is believed to have emerged from an animal market in central Wuhan city, with cases now detected as far away as the US.

The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 is widely regarded as “the deadliest in history”, and is believed to have infected around 500 million people worldwide, killing between 20 and 50 million.

Chinese officials have confirmed 440 cases of the new coronavirus strain - 2019-nCoV - so far, with 17 deaths.

Based on existing data, the disease is said to have a 2% death rate. This means that for every 50 people who catch the infection, one will statistically die.

To put this into context, around one in every 1,000 who develop flu die, giving it a death rate of 0.1%.

“This [2019-nCoV’s death rate] could be 2%, similar to Spanish flu,” said Professor Neil Ferguson from Imperial College London.

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/chinas- ... 08803.html
#15061076
Atlantis wrote:Looks like the city is now completely closed. They are stopping cars trying to leave the city.

This sounds very much like what human would do to chickens infected of avian flu.

With reports that some people got ill from Wuhan were fleeing the city and possibly further spreading the virus, I am not sure who's the worse people there.

Well, no need to be unsure. They must be equally bad.
#15061096
ThirdTerm wrote:The new virus is quite close to the SARS virus or SARS CoV and it is expected to be as deadly and infectious as SARS. 2019-nCoV’s death rate could be 2%, similar to Spanish flu. China released the genetic sequence of a new coronavirus in Wuhan. Phylogenetic analysis shows the coronavirus to be closely related to SARS CoV, the virus responsible for the SARS pandemic which began in China in 2003. Further analysis is necessary, but this preliminary analysis shows the virus is also quite similar to other SARS-related coronaviruses which appear to be endemic to the area.

Image


Spanish flu mortality rate was somewhere between 10 to 20% and definately not 2%. :eh:

Spanish flu managed to kill 3 to 6% of the global population which was more than WW1. That is not possible with a 2% mortality rate considering only 1/3rd of the population got infected?
#15061109
NYT
BREAKING NEWS
With the coronavirus outbreak growing, China expanded travel restrictions to two more cities, affecting millions of people.

Thursday, January 23, 2020 5:03 AM EST

The authorities enacted strict travel bans for the central Chinese cities of Huanggang, Ezhou and Wuhan, collectively home to nearly 20 million people. At least 17 people have died and more than 570 have been sickened.


I believe this is unprecedented. 20 million people isolated.
#15061110
JohnRawls wrote:Spanish flu mortality rate was somewhere between 10 to 20% and definately not 2%. :eh:


We don't know the mortality rate of the new virus. Figures of infected range from 600 to 6,000 and death figures from 17 to 47. It's all guess-work at this stage. Reportedly 28 have survived the infection, but we don't know if they can be considered cured at this stage. The authorities are keeping a tight grip on information. The figures are likely to rise rapidly as they release more information.

It seems that the new virus is less deadly than Sars but spreads more rapidly, a bit like a common flue. That would explain why it has spread so rapidly to almost the entire country and half a dozen other countries in less than a month.

The Chinese New Year festivities are about to start with 400 million Chinese ready to travel to their home cities. That should give the virus a tremendous boost.

Wuhan has now been completely locked down. Even small roads are closed. I don't know of any case in history where this has been achieved in a city of 11 million. The streets seem to be empty and the hospitals overcrowded. There are fears about food supplies.

Two neighboring cities Huanggang and Ezhou with 7 and 1 million residents, respectively, have also closed down public transport, but it's still possible to leave the cities.

The social media are full of accounts of people who managed to leave Wuhan, some with fever hoping to be treated elsewhere. If this turns nasty they will start shooting people at sight.

Residents scrambled to leave the epicentre of a deadly Sars-like virus outbreak before a virtual lockdown was imposed on the city on Thursday.

Authorities halted flights and trains out of Wuhan from 10am local time. But on social media, people who said they are from Wuhan posted messages saying they left the city before the lockdown was implemented.

“Escape from Wuhan” has become a popular hashtag on Weibo, a microblogging website on the mainland.

“I escaped in the small hours. There were so many cars on the highway,” wrote one netizen who claimed she had driven to Shanghai.

Another netizen said she had left with a friend. She said both of them had a fever.

“We’ve escaped the epidemic zone after taking some fever reducers. I’ll visit the doctor in Shanghai if my fever doesn’t go away a week later,” she wrote.

She also said that they plan to visit Disneyland.

A mother said she had flown with her children to Hainan.

“The outbreak is too serious. We dare not go out in Wuhan at all. We’re now in Sanya for shelter,” she wrote.
#15061113
Atlantis wrote:We don't know the mortality rate of the new virus. Figures of infected range from 600 to 6,000 and death figures from 17 to 47. It's all guess-work at this stage. Reportedly 28 have survived the infection, but we don't know if they can be considered cured at this stage. The authorities are keeping a tight grip on information. The figures are likely to rise rapidly as they release more information.

It seems that the new virus is less deadly than Sars but spreads more rapidly, a bit like a common flue. That would explain why it has spread so rapidly to almost the entire country and half a dozen other countries in less than a month.

The Chinese New Year festivities are about to start with 400 million Chinese ready to travel to their home cities. That should give the virus a tremendous boost.

Wuhan has now been completely locked down. Even small roads are closed. I don't know of any case in history where this has been achieved in a city of 11 million. The streets seem to be empty and the hospitals overcrowded. There are fears about food supplies.

Two neighboring cities Huanggang and Ezhou with 7 and 1 million residents, respectively, have also closed down public transport, but it's still possible to leave the cities.

The social media are full of accounts of people who managed to leave Wuhan, some with fever hoping to be treated elsewhere. If this turns nasty they will start shooting people at sight.


Chinese humanism at its finest. :knife:
#15061117
Reportedly, as many as 300,000 people fled Wuhan before the lock-down, some bragging about getting out with fever.

Almost 300,000 Wuhan residents successfully escape from the city before lockdown, some develop fever symptoms

When the shit does hit the fan, Chinese can be the most unruly people on the planet.

https://cdn.dimsumdaily.hk/wp-content/u ... OuaJHp.mp4

Meanwhile, Biohazard Xi has started to gun down all evil doers at the Wuhan city market.

Image
#15061119
Atlantis wrote:Reportedly, as many as 300,000 people fled Wuhan before the lock-down, some bragging about getting out with fever.

Almost 300,000 Wuhan residents successfully escape from the city before lockdown, some develop fever symptoms

When the shit does hit the fan, Chinese can be the most unruly people on the planet.

https://cdn.dimsumdaily.hk/wp-content/u ... OuaJHp.mp4

Meanwhile, Biohazard Xi has started to gun down all evil doers at the Wuhan city market.

Image


That is partially why people do not initiate lockdowns. A is because people will flee and spread the disease. B is because maintaining order becomes problematic. A full collapse of order will make things even worse.
#15061122
This is not a crisis. ordinary Flu is as dangerous if not worse. This whole media frenzy is aimed directly at stopping the coverage of the Muslim rape gangs - top police and officials being held to account for a clear breach in the law and allowing the thousands of very serious criminal offences.
Wake up people .. the MSM is controlling things.
#15061123
They tried the Harry and Meghan bullshit - headline news every day for the past 2 weeks, just as people were talking of the Muslim rape gangs top police and others in full focus for allowing the rapes... now they are filling your ears with this VIRUS!!
#15061125
JohnRawls wrote:That is partially why people do not initiate lockdowns. A is because people will flee and spread the disease. B is because maintaining order becomes problematic. A full collapse of order will make things even worse.


I don't know. It's a hard decision to make. They have looked on for 3 weeks while the virus spread to the whole country. The decision to lock down the city is drastic, but they obviously didn't come up with any other way of containing the infection, exactly because people tend to be unruly and don't care about any rules when they want to save their own skin.

I think the Chinese have the ability to lock down the city, but they don't seem to have the medical system to contain the infection. Pictures from hospitals look chaotic.
#15061130
Not to mention that the authorities have to supply those cities with food and other necessary supplies.
A logistical nightmare, I am happy not to be in charge of that.

edited to add : and for god's sake stop kissing people on the mouth !
#15061131
Ter wrote:Not to mention that the authorities have to supply those cities with food and other necessary supplies.
A logistical nightmare, I am happy not to be in charge of that.


They'll probably call in the army to supply the city.

‘This time I’m scared’: SARS virologist warns Wuhan virus far worse, as China locks down second city

The virus that has infected hundreds in China shows signs of being far worse than SARS, the pandemic that killed nearly 800 people 17 years ago, a prominent virologist has warned after travelling to Wuhan, where the new coronavirus first began to spread.

Yi Guan, who played an important role in tracing the development of SARS, spoke hours before authorities prepared to place a second Chinese city on lockdown, as local officials employ increasingly harsh measures in hopes of controlling the spread of the deadly Wuhan virus. Beginning at midnight Thursday, all public transport will halt in Huanggang and checks mandated for every person entering or exiting the city of 7.5 million, 70 kilometres east of Wuhan. All theatres, cafes and entertainment venues will be closed as well. Authorities said they would also close rail stations in nearby Ezhou, a city of one million.

Conservative estimates suggest that the scale of infection may eventually be 10 times higher than SARS,” said Dr. Guan, director of the State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the University of Hong Kong, told China’s Caixin media group on Thursday. Dr. Guan spent two days in Wuhan this week.

The World Health Organization said it would deliberate again on Thursday whether it should declare a global emergency around the 2019-nCoV virus, which causes pneumonia-like symptoms and is believed to have originated at a market that sold wild game.

Dr. Guan left, however, left Wuhan convinced that “the epidemic situation was out of control.”

Most viral outbreaks ”are controllable,” he said. He pointed to SARS, H5N1 and swine fever.

“I’ve experienced so much and I've never felt scared before,” he said. “But this time I'm scared.”

By Thursday evening, Chinese authorities had identified 615 confirmed cases, 395 suspected cases and 17 deaths in 30 provinces and regions, including Hong Kong and Macau. Further cases have been confirmed in Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and the U.S.

The comments from Dr. Guan mark the strongest warning to emerge from a professional who has travelled to Wuhan, a city of 11 million that on Thursday entered a partial lockdown. At 10 a.m., authorities shut down the city’s public transit and barred the boarding of outbound trains and planes. Authorities ordered anyone in public to wear a mask, and urged people not to use other means to leave the city.

Local officials described taking “war-time measures,” state media reported.

But those draconian measures may have come too late, Dr. Guan said, pointing to the great numbers of people who had already left Wuhan to return to childhood homes across China before the lockdown was imposed.

When these people returned to their hometowns, they took the virus to all parts of the country,” he said. In Wuhan, doctors told Caixin that the number of people infected could reach as high as 6,000. Using computer modelling, researchers at Imperial College London now estimate as many as 4,000 cases could exist in Wuhan alone.

Given the incubation period of the virus, Dr. Guan estimated that pneumonia-like symptoms may begin to appear more broadly across China beginning Jan. 25. It called into question whether the nation-wide public rush to wear masks — few faces remained uncovered at airports and train stations across the country Thursday — had also come too late.

At the Beijing West Train Station, a porter on Thursday told passersby that bullet trains passing through Wuhan were being disinfected several times a day. Chinese social media called attention to accounts this week from people encountering frontline workers at state-owned firms who had been told not to wear masks, lest it add to the sense of seriousness. By Thursday, those staff were wearing masks.

Foreign experts have said early indications suggest the virus is not as deadly as early coronavirus pandemics, such as SARS and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The Wuhan virus has so far proven deadly only for older people. Among those who have died to date, the youngest is 48 years old.

The major organs of Chinese state media, however, gave little coverage to the spread of the virus, devoting greater attention to smiling pictures of president Xi Jinping issuing greetings for the Lunar New Year.

It stood in stark contrast to the uncertainty and fear that coursed through Wuhan, where people raced to leave the city early Thursday morning, worried that authorities had declared an open-ended moratorium on trips out of the city.

“The biggest concern to me is how long this sealing-off will last,” said Li Mei, who operates a popular shop selling flat cakes in Wuhan. “We only know it started at 10 a.m. today, and the buses have stopped.”

At the city’s Wanfangtang Drug Store, a shopkeeper who gave her name only as Ms. Liu described six days of working 8 am to midnight, in an attempt to serve a never-ending queue of customers buying masks, alcohol disinfectant and anti-viral medication.

She was so tired, “I almost passed out,” she said. The shop had run out of many products, and “even more people rushed to our store since the lockdown was announced this morning.”

“It’s obvious,” she added, “that people are feeling a greater and greater sense of panic. But it remains under control — at least they are lining up to make purchases.”

Her store, she said, “is probably the busiest place on the street,” as public spaces in Wuhan emptied of people.

“You can barely see anyone wandering outside,” said Duan Jie, a manager at the Wuhan branch of an LED lighting company. Many aspects of life remained normal: “We can still go out to shop, and go to the supermarket to buy fruit and vegetables to prepare for the blackout period,” he said. But he worried about the sufficiency of the city’s food supplies if the lockdown remains in place for long.

Car owners like him have more options, since only public transit has been halted.

Dr. Guan, however, warned that too little was being done in Wuhan, telling Caixin that too few places were being disinfected. Based on what he saw on Tuesday and Wednesday, “local health protection has not been upgraded at all.” He disinfected his clothes, shoes and luggage the moment he got off the plane leaving Wuhan.

Mr. Duan had nonetheless cancelled plans to drive with his wife and daughter to his hometown for Lunar New Year celebrations, known in China as Spring Festival. They planned to stay home instead.

But he and others barely grumbled.

"We should look at the whole picture, rather than just focus on our own lives,” said Ms. Li, the flat cake shop owner. “And isolating Wuhan doesn’t make it any easier for people here to get infected. We can take counter-measures, be careful and stay — and it will help prevent the virus from breaking out in other parts of China.”

Spring Festival without extended family might be lonely.

But “I care more about the situation with this disease, and how to make sure my families all safely get through it,” Mr. Duan said.

“Not leaving Wuhan won’t kill you. But the virus could.”
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