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  1. #31

    Re: Virus Updates and Discussion

    Miriam Elder

    Russia has reportedly banned Chinese citizens from entering the country over coronavirus fears
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  2. #32

    Re: Virus Updates and Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    Wuhan residents complained about the draconian lockdown on social media. “We’re not allowed to go out at all, we’ve lost our most basic human rights. The guards are like prison guards, abusing the little bit of power they have. We’re guaranteed personal freedoms under the constitution!” said a user of the the Chinese microblogging site Weibo.
    Are you though? Those of us outside of China have seen little evidence of this.

  3. #33

    Re: Virus Updates and Discussion

    It's amazing to me that so many people have no idea how contagion spreads. You might now be sick at this moment but two days later when you feel like crap and take an Uber to the hospital ER?

    The fact that the ChiCom are doing this shows that this is worse than they want the world to believe.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  4. #34

    Re: Virus Updates and Discussion

    CNN Breaking News
    Delta Air Lines says it's contacting passengers who were on a recent flight between Honolulu and Nagoya, Japan, after reports that two passengers are being treated for coronavirus
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  5. #35

    Re: Virus Updates and Discussion

    Washington Post Updates (the earlier ones were from The Guardian)

    11:34 a.m.
    Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore deny entry to MS Westerdam cruise ship passengers

    Some passengers from the MS Westerdam cruise ship docked in Cambodia are being shunned on land and in air, following two weeks of being shunned at sea over coronavirus fears.

    The cruise liner loitered in water for two weeks without any case of coronavirus after being repeatedly turned away at ports — only to then have one passenger be diagnosed with the virus after disembarking and traveling to Malaysia on Saturday.

    News of the infection fed into fears of cruise ships and airports serving as unwitting incubators and transmitters of the virus causing covid-19. Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore announced Tuesday that they would not permit Westerdam passengers to fly via their airports, Bloomberg News reported.

    The cruise liner, owned by Holland America Line, canceled an upcoming trip scheduled for Feb. 29 “out of an abundance of caution,” the company announced Sunday. It said it’s coordinating all efforts with the World Health Organization, as well as other public health bodies.

    “We are in close coordination with some of the leading health experts from around the world,” Grant Tarling, chief medical officer for Holland America Line, said in a statement Monday. “These experts are working with the appropriate national health authorities to investigate and follow-up with any individuals who may have come in contact with the [infected] guest.”

    For two weeks, MS Westerdam traveled the seas looking for a place to dock, after five countries refused it entry because of coronavirus fears. The ordeal ended Friday when Cambodia allowed the boat to land and for guests at last to leave the ship. Cambodia’s prime minister personally welcomed passengers at the port. The ship’s passengers came from 41 countries and territories, with U.S. citizens being the largest group represented, Bloomberg News reported.

    Holland America Line has repeatedly said that there were no cases or suspected cases of coronavirus on board.

    “On Feb. 10, 2020, all 2,257 passengers and crew were screened for illness including the taking of individual temperatures. No individual at that time was identified with an elevated temperature,” the company said in a statement Monday, adding “During the voyage there was no indication of COVID-19 on the ship.”

    Guests who left the ship in Cambodia on Friday were subject to further health screenings by Cambodian authorities, which all passengers passed, and then cleared to start returning home. Holland America reported that none of the ship’s guests had traveled to China in the 14 days before the start of the trip.

    Nonetheless, when an 83-year-old American woman who had been on the ship flew to Malaysia on Friday, authorities there tested her and found her positive for the virus, they announced Saturday.

    MS Westerdam said that neither she nor her husband, who tested negative for the virus, reported any symptoms while on board.

    By Miriam Berger

    12:01 p.m.
    WHO still struggling to say how contagious the coronavirus is outside China

    WHO experts are still struggling to understand how fatal and contagious the disease is outside China due to a lack of data, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a news briefing Tuesday.

    “We don’t have enough data on cases outside China to make meaningful conclusions,” Tedros said, noting that there have not been sustained human-to-human transmissions outside China except for the situation on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

    Amid criticism of how Japanese authorities and others quarantined the cruise ship, on which there was eventually a total of 454 infections among passengers, WHO officials also voiced support for the country’s government.

    “It’s very easy in retrospect to make judgments on public health decisions made at a certain point,” said Michael Ryan, a WHO leader on health emergencies. The decision to quarantine “was much more preferable at the time than having people dispersed around the world, but obviously the situation on ground changed, and clearly there’s been more transmission than expected on the ship.”

    Ryan, however, noted that WHO and others are eager to study the cruise ship transmission to understand what went wrong so they can apply those lessons to similar efforts in coming days.

    WHO officials also expressed support and praise for China’s strict measures in recent days, which have been criticized by some as overly harsh and chaotic.

    Chinese officials have described its effort as a “wartime” campaign against the virus. Such measures have included mass roundups of people suspected of being infected, isolation of patients without giving them adequate care and door-to-door surveillance and checks on residents.

    “You can argue whether those measures are excessive or whether they’re restrictive on people, but there’s a lot at stake here, an awful lot at stake, in terms of public health and in term of not just the public health of China but people all over the world,” Ryan said.

    Finding the balance between civil liberties or human rights and necessary restrictions is sometimes difficult, Ryan said. “Right now, the strategic and tactical approach in China is the right one.”

    “We still have a chance of preventing a broader global crisis,” said WHO Director General Tedros. “WHO will continue working night and day with all countries to prepare them.”

    By William Wan

    1:20 p.m.
    Russia to temporarily ban Chinese citizens from entry

    Beginning Thursday, Russia will temporarily suspend entry of Chinese citizens due to the coronavirus outbreak, Tass news agency reports.

    Russia’s deputy prime minister, Tatyana Golikova, announced the move in a statement to reporters Tuesday. The restrictions will apply to Chinese nationals traveling to Russia for employment, tourism and education, Tass reports.

    Russia announced at the end of January that it would be closing its 2,615-mile border with China, one of the world’s longest international borders.

    Russia has reported two cases of coronavirus; both Chinese citizens. On Tuesday, the Russian Embassy in Japan announced that a Russian citizen who was onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship had also been infected.

    By Adam Taylor

    1:55 p.m.
    Experts are still struggling to understand how fatal the coronavirus is

    Just how fatal is the coronavirus? Experts are still struggling — months after the virus emerged — to answer that question. Epidemiologists trying to pin down a fatality rate for covid-19 say they simply lack enough reliable data.

    On Monday, for example, China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention published a study with the best and most conclusive statistics. Drawing on the patient records of 44,672 confirmed cases, Chinese researchers deemed the virus to have an overall fatality rate of 2.3 percent.

    “The problem is they basically just took the total number of deaths and divided it by number of cases,” said Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “It’s not exactly the ideal way to understand fatality rate because it doesn’t take the element of time into consideration.”

    The study didn’t take into account, for example, that the virus has a long incubation period, meaning many patients who were recently diagnosed and may go on to die were not recorded as fatalities. That could lead to an underestimation of the virus’s fatality rate.

    At the same time, many experts believe the virus’s symptoms are so mild in some people — especially those who are young — that it is going undetected and undiagnosed. That could lead to an overestimation of the fatality rate.

    In a Tuesday news conference, WHO officials talked of other barriers to their round-the-clock efforts to understand the coronavirus’s lethality.

    Michael Ryan, WHO’s director for health emergencies, noted that while the Chinese CDC study showed a large drop in fatality rate compared with earlier estimates, there was likely “a huge bias at the beginning,” which overestimated its death rate.

    “Remember at the beginning of the outbreak what people were finding were the severe cases. … And now, we are going out looking for less sick people,” Ryan said.

    He recalled how something similar happened during the H1N1 pandemic when experts initially declared fatality rates of 10-20 percent before lowering them significantly as weeks passed.

    Another wrinkle researchers must consider is how much more lethal the virus has proved to be in the epicenter in Hubei Province — 2.9 percent fatality rate — compared with in other Chinese provinces — 0.4 percent.

    The sheer number of cases in Wuhan and Hubei province has put enormous pressure on the local health-care system, and some patients may be dying from insufficient health care and resources. Lessons Chinese doctors have learned in Wuhan are also being applied in other Chinese cities as the virus spreads, enabling them to reduce fatalities.

    Those caveats aside, experts say, the Chinese CDC study contained critical information for researchers. It confirmed, for instance, a long-held suspicion by researchers that the virus is much more lethal for older people. The fatality rate for those over 80, for example was 14.8 percent. Meanwhile, the study found only eight deaths total since the outbreak began for the ages 0 to 29.

    Those with existing medical conditions were also much more likely to die — with heightened fatality rates ranging from 10.5 percent with heart disease and 7.3 percent with diabetes to 5.6 percent for cancer.

    One particularly perplexing study finding was a higher mortality rate among men (2.8 percent) than women (1.7 percent). Researchers, however, cautioned that that finding could be because of completely unrelated reasons — such as higher smoking rates among Chinese men, gender differences in immune response or women being more likely to seek medical help.

    “But the biggest looming question is still the fatality rate and risk this virus poses,” said Rivers. “Anytime there’s an outbreak like this, we hold our breath a little bit, because it takes a lot of time and data before we will know exactly what we’re dealing with.”

    By William Wan
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  6. #36

    Re: Virus Updates and Discussion

    WaPo Updates P2

    4:04 p.m.
    Large-scale quarantines probably violate international health regulations, experts say

    Hundreds of millions of people across China are on lockdown. The government says the restrictions are needed to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.

    But under international health regulations that United Nations member states have agreed to uphold, China in some cases has not met the criteria for imposing quarantines, according to some public health experts.

    International regulations allow for “the least restrictive measure needed to achieve the public health goal,” said Alexandra Phelan, a faculty research instructor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Georgetown University. “The quarantine imposed must not be discriminatory or arbitrary, must have scientific basis, and must be the least restrictive option available.”

    She added, “Quarantines on a large scale tend to be very arbitrary by their very nature. ... They are unlikely to meet this criterion.”

    In the United States, the commerce clause of the Constitution provides the federal government the power to isolate and quarantine people, and the Public Health Service Act gives the U.S. secretary of health and human services the authority to take actions to prevent communicable diseases from entering and spreading from other countries and between states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been delegated with the powers to carry out daily efforts to this effect.

    Globally, while international regulations apply, it’s up to each country to determine how it implements a quarantine — and whether it follows the agreed-upon guidelines.

    In practice, “there aren’t a lot of sticks to enforce international health law,” said Lauren Sauer, an assistant professor of emergency health at John Hopkins University.

    In the current case of China, public health experts have warned that widespread quarantines and travel bans could backfire by denying people needed medical care and pushing cases underground.

    “The IHR [International Health Regulations] allows for the use of quarantine and isolation,” said Lauren Sauer, an assistant professor of emergency health at John Hopkins University. “But this scope and this sort of size of quarantine, this mass movement restriction, is unprecedented.”

    Sauer said that the quarantine Japan imposed on the Diamond Princess, a cruise liner kept in isolation as increasing numbers of patients reported infections, could even have been a “violation of human rights” by keeping people locked up in close quarters with the virus.

    She disagreed with the decision by the World Health Organization and some governments to initially support this approach. But she said the WHO was “doing the best they can in a very political climate.”

    Sauer said her criticism of the ongoing quarantines, and calls for revising and clarifying quarantine guidelines, should not detract from the overall importance of supporting and improving public health institutions.

    “We need the WHO and we will continue to rely on them and continue to support their responsive efforts as much as we can as a public health community,” she said.

    By Miriam Berger
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  7. #37

    Re: Virus Updates and Discussion

    Those people on cruise ships not so lucky. A fancy vacation or perhaps more likely a leisurely retirement and this happens. What are those people from the ship which disembarked in Cambodia now supposed to do?
    Roger forever

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