- 8 new cases confirmed in Lombardy brings daily total to 16 new cases in Italy
- 34 cases in USA.
- China pledges to build 19 new hospitals in Wuhan
- 253 more passengers depart the diamond princess as 11 of 13 American evacuees in Nebraska test positive
- Local authorities in China warn people will be punished for not returning to work if ordered
- WHO’s Tedros: Window for confronting virus rapidly closing
- CDC says virus tremendous health threat, warns more human to human transmission of the virus in the US likely
- First case declared in Lebanon
- Iran confirms 9 more cases as virus reaches Tehran
- South Korea reported massive jump in cases on Friday as total climbed to 204
- Global Times insinuates that US might be covering up coronavirus cases
- Health officials in Hubei ‘apologize’ for changing case confirmation ‘criteria’
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Update (1455ET): The New York Times is reporting that at least 34 people in the United States are infected with the new coronavirus spreading from China, federal health officials said on Friday.
These include 21 cases among repatriated individuals, as well as 13 US cases.
This is a dramatic increase from the last reported case count of 16, and Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said at a news briefing, more infections are expected.
“This new virus represents a tremendous public health threat,” Dr. Messonnier said.
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Update (1315ET): The scapegoating continues.
The Epoch Times reports that 8 CCP leaders were removed from their positions following the discovery of 207 cases of the virus inside Rencheng Prison in Shandong, one of three provinces where prison cases have been detected.
Just the latest reminder that officials can only hide things for so long with the coronavirus. Any lies or dissembling will be exposed by the onslaught of COVID-19.
Update (1240ET): As we mentioned below, the CDC had some pretty chilling words for the American public during a press conference on Friday. During the 12:15pm ET update, the organization warned that it had centralized ‘surge’ virus response due to a lack of testing kits and the fact that every state but three is unprepared for the epidemic.
During the press conference, the CDC described the virus as a “tremendous public healht threat” and warned that human to human transmission in the US is “very possible, even likely.”
The announcement comes after the Washington Post reported last night that the CDC opposed the State Department’s decision to bring the 14 Americans confirmed to have been infected with the virus aboard the ‘Diamond Princess’ back to the US with the other ~300 evacuees – thereby breaking the quarantine and risking a broader outbreak, and exposing many of the passengers on the flight who hadn’t been infected to the virus.
The CDC was so mad, it reportedly asked for its name to be removed from a press release about the evacuation.
We also noted at the time that the decision to break the quarantine and bring the 14 infected persons back seemed idiotic.
So far, it’s looking like that’s exactly what’s happening: As we noted earlier, 11 of 13 people quarantined in Nebraska have now tested positive.
Just imagine what happens if it hits Omaha, or Chicago. Or New York (which has already had a few scares):
Earlier, WHO Director General Dr. Tedros warned that the “window is narrowing” to suppress the virus before it’s too late. That’s in contrast to the language he used during the press conference late last month where the organization finally declared the virus a global pandemic. At the time, he assured the public that the number of cases was still small. “Even now there’s a window of opportunity,” he said.”
Soon, it’ll be a missed opportunity.
Well, now China is planning to build another 19 makeshift hospitals to quarantine more infected patients in Wuhan.
So far, the city of 11 million has converted 13 existing venues into hospitals, with a total of 13,348 beds. The 19 new hospitals would create 30,000 beds, according to China’s Global Times.
In other news, minutes ago, two more coronavirus cases were confirmed in northern Italian region of Lombardy, bringing the country’s total announced on Friday to 16. Italy now has some 19 cases.
It’s unclear whether the patients were infected in Italy, or abroad. Some 250 others are in isolation awaiting testing results. Most of the cases have been found in northern Italy.
In the US, the CDC has warned that only three states, California, Nevada and Illinois, have the testing capacity needed to confront a coronavirus outbreak. Until more become available, the CDC will be handling any necessary ‘surge testing’. They added that future human to human transmission in the US is possible, even ‘likely’ (which is why the US probably should have left those ‘DP’ passengers in Japan).
Meanwhile, here’s what we’re looking at so far for cases ex-China in Asia.
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Update (1215ET): It looks like Beijing is adopting a new media strategy: Imply that the US is concealing a massive outbreak.178 people are talking about this
The US is actually using some pretty scary surveillance tech to screen flu patients who seek treatment in American hospitals to root out any possible coronavirus cases that might have slipped through.
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Update (1140ET): Japanese health officials and Carnival Japan announced that 253 more individuals – a mix of passengers and crew, presumably – who tested negative for the virus have disembarked from the ‘Diamond Princess’ on Friday.
It looks like the company has extended the de-boarding process by a day, as there are still some passengers on the ship who won’t leave until tomorrow.
Health experts and local officials (probably all the way up to PM Shinzo Abe) have been fretting about the possibility of an outbreak in Japan, especially with the Tokyo Olympics this summer.
You can’t just cancel the Olympics like you can cancel the Tokyo Marathon.
This comes after US media reported earlier on Friday that 11 of the 13 ‘Diamond Princess’ evacuees taken to the University of Nebraska Medical Center ended up testing positive for the virus, which means more individuals must’ve caught it either just before departing, or in transit, as 14 individuals who tested positive at the last minute were allowed aboard the flight that some say broke the quarantine.
University of Nebraska Medical Center representative Taylor Wilson said 10 of them are currently in isolation in the facility’s National Quarantine Unit, while three others are in the biocontainment unit, according to USA Today.
Earlier this week, before they tested positive, Dr. Mike Wadman, the co-medical director of the National Quarantine Unit, said that all 13 would spend at least 2 weeks quarantined in Omaha.
By that time, one male patient had already been transferred to the hospital’s biocontainment unit because of severe symptoms including cough, fever and shortness of breath. At the time, officials said some of the evacuees were exhibiting ‘minor symptoms’.
As of last night, there were 634 confirmed cases of the virus stemming from the ‘DP’, while 2 Japanese passengers passed away in Japan.
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Update (1130ET): Epidemiologist had already warned that patients could be reinfected with the virus. But the Epoch Times’ Jennifer Zeng is sharing a report about a patient in Sichuan (notably one of the provinces visited by WHO experts) who was reinfected with the virus after recovering.
Not good news. Cured patient of #COVID19 in #Sichuan province infected again.
四川出現新冠肺炎「二次感染」患者 https://www.epochtimes.com/gb/20/2/21/n11884983.htm … via @dajiyuan
四川出现新冠肺炎“二次感染”患者 – 大纪元
epochtimes.com318 people are talking about this
UPI reported earlier that everal patients in China who were discharged from hospitals after making a full recovery have been reinfected, citing reports in the People’s Daily on Friday.
One patient in Chengdu was discharged from a local hospital and was quarantined for 14 days at home, but somehow became reinfected. And doctors quoted in the story said her case isn’t unique.
It’s also possible to catch the flu twice in one season, but that is rare.
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Update (1100ET): Epoch Times’ Jennifer Zeng is reporting that in parts of China, the government has signaled to workers that they will be “punished” if they don’t report back to work.
And for everyone who gets infected, don’t expect your employer to deal with it, Zeng adds. “if you get infected, it is not a work-related injury. You are on your own.”865 people are talking about this
That’s pretty chilling stuff, but as we pointed out yesterday, there’s an ongoing debate in parts of the country where case numbers aren’t as high (not that anybody trusts the government’s figures) about whether keeping the economy on lockdown might be doing more harm then good. And in order to prevent a repeat of what happened last time (when millions just simply didn’t show up), it’s upping the ante for citizens who don’t abide by the state’s command.
The New York Times is reporting that, for the first time since the outbreak began, Chinese health officials acknowledged on Friday that their constant changes to the ‘criteria’ for what constitutes a ‘confirmed case’ have sown confusion and mistrust.
As we have assiduously reported, officials in Hubei have revised their case tallies three times now because of these shifting definitions.
in the province hardest hit by the coronavirus acknowledged for the first time on Friday that their methods of confirming and reporting infection numbers had sown confusion and mistrust. They added that they would no longer subtract cases from the total. The message comes just hours after state media reported new breakouts in a handful of Chinese prisons.
Moving over to the WHO’s daily press conference from Switzerland, Director-General Dr. Tedros commented on the new cases and deaths reported in Iran, as well as Lebanon, which reported its first case this morning though hasn’t yet recorded a death.
Asked whether the situation is at a “tipping point,” Dr. Tedros replied that the “window of opportunity” for humanity to prevent an even more massive outbreak is rapidly closing.
“The window of opportunity is narrowing,” Dr. Tedros said, and humanity is running out of time to stop this virus before things get much, much worse.
You know, just some reassuring words to kick off the weekend with a little levity.
We’re starting to suspect that Dr. Tedros may have recently purchased some out-of-the-money S&P puts.
Seemingly responding to the growing number of ‘armchair cranks’ and ‘conspiracy theorists’ questioning why a WHO team of experts – a team that includes two Americans – hasn’t yet traveled to Wuhan, Dr. Tedros added that the team is planning to travel to the epicenter of the outbreak on Saturday.
Senior @WHO team to travel to epicenter Wuhan on Saturday. https://twitter.com/onlyyoontv/status/1230061540084043776 …
✔@onlyyoontvReplying to @onlyyoontv
The more senior @WHO team has so far only seen situation in Beijing and heads to Sichuan and Guangdong Provinces (not #coronavirus hot zones) this week. @WHO told me #HubeiProvince visit not yet been ruled out. Latest on the WHO team whereabouts in #China below:61 people are talking about this
So far, the team has traveled to Beijing, Sichuan and Guangdong provinces.
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Update (1000ET): Check this out.
The NYT has published an interesting interactive illustrating the huge drop in flights departing from China to the US and other major economies.
The disappearance of tens of thousands of flights leaving China shows “how the coronavirus has hobbled a nation,” the NYT said.
Put another way:
As the NYT reports, Oxford Economics said in a recent report that the outbreak could wipe $1.1 trillion from global output, which kind of undercuts Larry Kudlow’s stammering on CNBC about this not being a ‘US story’: It’s difficult to imagine a scenario where the US economy would walk away unaffected by this.
See it here.
In other news, Beijing continues to push the ‘everything’s fine; we’re winning’ narrative.221 people are talking about this
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Update (0725ET): Lebanon has confirmed its first case of COVID-9.
BREAKING: Lebanon reports 1st case of coronavirus https://bnonews.com/index.php/2020/02/the-latest-coronavirus-cases/ …
Tracking coronavirus: Map, data and timeline – BNO News
The tables below show confirmed cases of coronavirus (2019-nCoV, officially known as SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19) in China and other countries. To see a distribution map and a timeline, scroll down. There…
bnonews.com326 people are talking about this
The tiny Levantine state, which has swollen with refugees from nearby Syria in recent years, is in the middle of an economic crisis, and its government is presently weighing whether to default on an upcoming loan payment, which could lead to deeply unpopular austerity measures, as Al Jazeera reports.
Earlier, Israel’s Health Ministry confirmed that an Israeli citizen contracted the virus while aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship (1 of 11 Israeli passengers). She is currently under supervision and isolation in Israel. All 11 were flown out of Japan and sent directly Friday into isolation at Sheba Tel Hashomer Hospital, where they will remain during a 2-week quarantine period. Earlier this week, Israel’s government announced a temporary travel ban on all foreign nationals who had traveled to Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macao during the past 2 weeks.
Following reports yesterday that two Beijing hospitals had been put under quarantine amid fears of a wider outbreak, WaPo reported that one district in Beijing has been found to have an “infection density” second only to Wuhan on mainland China. This has served to further intensify concerns about what might happen when millions of Chinese return to work next week.
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When historians look back at the COVID-19 outbreak, they’ll remember this week as an important turning point in the crisis, when international public-health experts and investors started to focus their attention on South Korea, Japan and other countries in the region that have seen the number of new cases accelerate markedly in recent days.
Put another way, evidence that the virus is spreading more rapidly within other Asian countries outside mainland China has become impossible to ignore, which is probably why US futures are pointing to a lower open for a second straight day.
As Bloomberg reminds us, South Korea has seen its total cases soar past 200 as the number of infections doubled
WHO: Vinduet er ved at lukke for at begrænse coronavirus