China virus cases nearly double overnight

482

Summary

  • 4,295 4,515 Cases confirmed worldwide
  • 106 Dead worldwide
  • 2714 Cases in Hubei (up 1291 overnight – a stunning 91% surge)
  • 100 Dead in Hubei (up 24 overnight – a 24% surge)
  • North Korea closes Chinese border.
  • German reports first case
  • US raises travel alert for China to Level 3 (2nd highest).

Global cases:

An exponential increase:

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Update (2000ET): According to the Health Commission of Hubei Province, there was a massive jump in cases and deaths overnight in China. The death toll from a coronavirus outbreak in China has soared to 106 while nearly 1,300 new cases have been confirmed, authorities said Tuesday.

The health commission in central Hubei province, the epicentre of the epidemic, said 24 more people had died from the virus and 1,291 more people were infected, raising the total number of confirmed cases to more than 4,000 nationwide.

Source: BNO

Additionally, KCNA reports that North Korea has officially closed its border crossing with China to prevent Coronavirus from entering the country.

Source: BNO

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Update (1830ET): While China currently has about 3,000 total cases as reported earlier, according to the latest report from China’s Center for Disease Control, the real number of infections may be substantially higher, because as of Jan 26 (the update for Jan 27 is due shortly) some 30,453 people are currently under observation for the coronavirus. Needless to say, it is very likely that a substantial number of these people will end up positive for the disease, even as the total of people under observation grows by thousands every single day.

Earlier in the day, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, China’s Hubei Province, is opening up 100,000 hospital beds in an effort to contain the disease, the province’s vice governor announced on Jan. 27. In a press conference on Jan. 27 evening, Hubei vice governor Yang Yunyan said authorities have designated 112 medical institutions to treat patients with the deadly novel coronavirus, according to Chinese state media. They have freed up around 100,000 hospital beds in the province, with 3,000 of them in Wuhan city alone, where the disease first broke out. As the Epoch Times observes, “The urgency and scale of the authorities’ orders have raised fears that the outbreak has spread far more widely than authorities admit.”

Meanwhile, in the latest news on the coronavirus global spread, Germany’ DPA news agency reported that the first coronavirus case was confirmed in Germany. According to the infectious diseases task force of the Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority, the male patient from the district of Starnberg is clinically in “good condition” and is being monitored while in isolation. Those who have been in close contact with him have been informed and infection control measures have been implemented. Naturally, the Task Force and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) have said they consider the infection risk to the Bavarian population to be low.

Finally, looking at the US where so far 5 cases have been confirmed, late on Monday the Maryland Department of Health confirmed a state resident was being tested for possibly having the coronavirus. They say the person is in “good condition” as they await results from the CDC laboratory. Similarly, the San Diego County Health Department also said it was investigating a possible case of the coronavirus. Test samples from the patient have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control for confirmation.

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Update (1415): The novel coronavirus has arrived in Cambodia and Sri Lanka, according to local health officials cited by Reuters and the Bangkok Post.

The virus has now been detected in a total of 17 countries/autonomous regions…

Fears that the outbreak will take a sizable chunk out of global GDP have festered amid reports that China’s “manufacturing nerve center” is shutting down as Beijing “extends” the Lunar New Year holiday, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.

During the CDC press conference on Monday (which we covered in full below) the State Department announced an updated travel warning advising US citizens to avoid all non-essential travel to Hubei province, where the virus is believed to have originated, and to take necessary precautions when traveling in China.  While the warning maintained a Level 3 for China as a whole, the State Department raised the advisory to Level 4 for Hubei, the most severe warning possible.

Though it doesn’t exactly take a genius-level intellect to ascertain that now isn’t a great time to travel to virus-plagued Hubei.

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Update (1150ET): Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the Director of the Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), spoke on behalf of the CDC. During the press conference, she said that the US had identified 110 people who are under observation and being tested for the virus. While 5 cases have already been identified in the US, another 32 have definitively tested negative.

Though a vaccine remains elusive, the Messonnier said the CDC had developed a diagnostic test that can quickly confirm cases of the virus. So far, CDC researchers have seen no signs of “mutation” in the virus. If the virus does mutate, as Chinese scientists suggested it might, that could create problems for those trying to develop the exam. On Friday, a “blueprint” for the test was uploaded and shared with the world. All governments can now follow this blueprint to develop their own tests..

Right now, the CDC is focused on providing tests to “priority” states (presumably, Cali, Washington, Arizona and Illinois, the states where cases have been confirmed). But soon they will expand the program to supply governments in need.

The CDC has also uploaded the entire genome of the virus from the first two cases. From what the CDC can tell so far, the virus doesn’t appear to be “mutating”, as some Chinese officials had suggested.

Messonnier stressed that this is a “rapidly changing situation” both here and abroad, adding that the virus has spread to 16 countries from China.

“Our thoughts are with the people on the front lines of this emerging health threat in China,” she said.

US airports are now screening passengers from Wuhan. The purpose of this is not just preventative: It’s intended to educate passengers about symptoms of the virus, and how to mitigate risk of infection while traveling abroad. The CDC recommends that travelers avoid all non-essential travel to Hubei province, and that anybody traveling to China should take certain precautions.

Returning travelers with symptoms may be asked to take precautionary measures.

Battered US stocks briefly spiked when Messonnier said that although a handful of cases have been identified in the US, the overall general health risk to the community remains “low at this time.” Still, she caveated this by insisting that the situation remains very much in flux.

Meanwhile, in China, more indications of the economic fallout from the outbreak have emerged: Zheijang, the country’s fourth-largest province by GDP, won’t allow companies to return to work until Feb. 8. Shanghai, an independent municipality within the province, announced similar measures earlier. The potential costs here in terms of lost productivity could measure in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

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Update (1030ET): Chinese state media have just confirmed that Beijing has suffered its first confirmed death from the novel coronavirus. They also confirmed 8 new confirmed cases.

Macau has just confirmed its seventh case.

The total number of confirmed cases has climbed to 2882, though the true number of cases out there is likely much higher, as experts have warned.

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Update(1000ET): US stocks are deep in the red Monday morning, on track for their worst day in four months, thanks to the fact that the market and the world realized over the weekend that the extremely infectious novel coronavirus has overwhelmed China’s capacity to contain it.

And right on time, here comes President Trump, with a weak attempt to pump the market.

Minutes ago, the president tweeted that the US had offered China “any help that is necessary”, while advising that the US is “strongly on watch” for signs that the virus is spreading.

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