Here’s a glimpse of new virus-related developments that occurred overnight.
- China announces another 15 deaths in Hubei province
- Total number of confirmed cases now 1,000+, 41 dead.
- China restricts travel for 46+ million people across 16 cities as the death toll surges.
- AFP reports that the virus has jumped to Europe, with three confirmed cases now in France.
- Two deaths have been reported outside Wuhan.
- Some residents displaying symptoms are being turned away from hospitals.
- Hospitals in Wuhan make urgent pleas for help and supplies.
- Beijing orders PLA medics to assist in Wuhan treating patients
- UK and US governments tell citizens to avoid outbreak zones.
- 63 suspected cases in US, Senator says 3 confirmed, with two reported so far in Illinois and California, and two suspected in Minnesota
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Update (1700ET): All day we’ve been watching disturbing videos of hospital hallways littered with what appear to be dead bodies, yet the death toll from the Wuhan coronavirus hasn’t budged from 26 since Beijing reported the first two deaths outside Hubei yesterday.
Now we know why: As we suspected, the virus has been claiming more victims. But the local authorities, who promised ‘transparency’ in everything virus-related, apparently felt the need to wait until 4 am local time to drop this massive bomb: Another 15 people have died in Hubei as hospitals struggle with severe shortages of nearly everything, including doctors and nurses. That brings the total number of casualties to 41. In addition, another 180 cases have been discovered in Hubei, bringing the total number of cases over 1,000.
The latest figures show that the virus is more deadly than previously thought.
Meanwhile, Sky News is reporting that officials in France have confirmed a third case of coronavirus in the country.
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Update (1420ET): AFP reports, citing a minister, that two cases of coronavirus are now confirmed in France, as the virus officially spreads to Europe. The outbreak will give President Emmanuel Macron a desperately needed distraction from seemingly never-ending protests of his government.
Across China, fairs and other events celebrating the New Year holiday have been cancelled, meanwhile officials in Wuhan are scrambling to try a build a 1,000 bed hospital in Wuhan in under ten – some say five – days. Amid all of the terrifying videos showing what appear to be dead bodies piling up in a hallway in Wuhan (we shared the video below), reports out of Wuhan offer plenty of reason to fret: A previously healthy young man has succumbed to the virus – the first victim who wasn’t elderly or struggling with a serious co-occurring health problem.
Across China, more than 7,000 movie theaters have shuttered until further notice. CNBC reported that this could cost the Chinese box office more than $1 billion. Meanwhile, shares of Netflix rallied Friday on the belief that millions of Chinese might instead stay home and stream – even though Netflix doesn’t operate in China.
We joked about it yesterday, but today it has become a reality: Beijing has quarantined an entire province, with more than 46 million on lockdown across China.
As experts warn that there are probably closer to 4,000 cases in China alone, projections suggest that whatever governments – including China – are doing to fight the virus, it likely won’t be enough to stop a global outbreak.
The WHO is still waiting on making a call, claiming that it hasn’t yet seen enough evidence of human-to-human transmission, despite the fact that this is no longer in doubt. Yesterday, the organization estimated that the Wuhan coronavirus had a Ro rating – a measure of its infectious potential – of 2, making it more contagious than the flu, but less infectious than smallpox. Here’s a table for comparison.
After his administration succeeded in pumping the market off the lows with that FAA headline, President Trump tweeted about the outbreak, advising people not to panic because China “has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus.”
He might as well have tweeted: “DON’T PANIC” in big, red, friendly letters.
As Wuhan pleads for resources and the PLA mobilizes military doctors to hospitals in Wuhan and elsewhere, reports have emerged of doctors straight up dying from exhaustion, according to the Washington Post. The Post added that Wuhan is struggling with shortages of every conceivable medical supply, from masks, to rubber gloves to personnel.
Paranoia has led to facemasks flying off the shelves across Asia, and even in New York City’s Chinatown, according to media reports. Price gouging in Hong Kong has driven prices of individual masks above $10 dollars in some cases.
One reporter at WaPo reportedly overheard a doctor in Wuhan screaming into the phone at their supervisor, allegedly begging to be fired.
“I don’t want do this job any more. Just fire me! Kick me out, send me back home,” a doctor at Wuhan No. 5 Hospital yelled into the phone, frustration and exhaustion exploding out of him. “Don’t I want to go home to celebrate the new year?” he screamed in his Wuhan accent, presumably at his boss, that he’d done four back-to-back shifts as China made plans for the Lunar New Year holiday, which began Friday. “Don’t we want to live, too?”
At least one US senator, Florida’s Rick Scott, is pushing President Trump to declare a national public health emergency over the virus – but of course Trump won’t do that, at least until the market has closed.
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Update (1320ET): CNBC’s Eunice Yoon has provided the latest horrifying update of the spread of the Coronavirus in China:
China quarantines 16 cities, total population 46 million
That is larger than the entire 39.5 million population of California.
Kaitlin Bennett joins The Alex Jones Show to bring a warning to all those who would infringe on the second amendment rights of Americans; “The entire country is going to stand against you.”
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