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  1. #16

    Re: Virus Updates and Discussion

    Nice tool for tracking the outbreak:
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  2. #17

    Re: Virus Updates and Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    Nice tool for tracking the outbreak:
    I've seen maps like this. I find the Heilongjiang part rather interesting. That's a serious distance from Hubei yet it's got a sizable outbreak and ranks 3rd in deaths (though a low number). Also a low number of recovered patients. Not sure if healthcare in that section of the country is lacking and that explains it away.

  3. #18

    Re: Virus Updates and Discussion

    I'd feel so much worse for these cruise ship passengers if they would stop talking. They sound like whiny, spoiled Americans who more often than not don't exactly seem as sympathetic as the situation should make them.

    "The nerve of them keeping me on here!" "Didn't your wife just get a positive test yesterday?" "Yes, but we were sure it was coming back negative." Uhh, okay...

    "An extra 14 days of quarantine is financially devastating. I'll be missing out on upwards of $50,000." $50k in 2 weeks? You sound like a millionaire who isn't going to go under from that loss. Find me someone living check to check.

    I do feel bad for them. But I would feel so much worse for them if they would only stop talking. They are coming off seriously entitled. One passenger was not looking forward to the additional quarantine on the base because of the certain downgrade from luxury accommodations. Priorities firmly in order.

  4. #19

    Re: Virus Updates and Discussion

    And then there's the British passenger that is a staunch Tory who has no faith in Boris Johnson helping them (isn't Boris a Tory?) and asking Richard Branson to send a plane for him and other Brits to serve their quarantine with people who speak the same language as them.

  5. #20

    Re: Virus Updates and Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by JazzNU View Post
    And then there's the British passenger that is a staunch Tory who has no faith in Boris Johnson helping them (isn't Boris a Tory?) and asking Richard Branson to send a plane for him and other Brits to serve their quarantine with people who speak the same language as them.
    And that, in a nutshell, explains Brexit.

    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  6. #21

    Re: Virus Updates and Discussion

    Fourteen American cruise ship passengers with coronavirus among those evacuated to U.S.

    Anna Fifield and
    Alex Horton
    Feb. 17, 2020 at 3:51 p.m. EST

    Two planes carrying 328 Americans evacuated from a coronavirus-stricken cruise liner in Japan have landed in the United States, carrying 14 people confirmed to have been infected.

    Efforts are underway to trace the passengers from a second cruise ship, docked in Cambodia, after an American passenger tested positive for the virus.

    Here are the latest developments:

    ● Fourteen Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan tested positive for coronavirus but were still allowed to return to the United States. More than 300 Americans were evacuated on the two flights.

    ● A sharp rise in cases in Japan has raised fears that the country is entering a “new phase” of local transmission.

    ● Japan’s Health Ministry on Monday reported 99 new cases from passengers and crew of the Diamond Princess, increasing the total number of infections from the ship to 454.

    ● In China, the number of confirmed infections now exceeds 70,000, with the death toll rising to 1,770 as of Monday.

    ● China’s ruling Communist Party all but confirmed that it would postpone the “Two Sessions,” the important annual political meetings scheduled for early March.

    ● Despite continuing fears of virus transmission, Macao’s casinos will reopen after a two-week closure.

    BEIJING — Fourteen Americans evacuated from the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan tested positive for the illness but were allowed to board two chartered planes bound for quarantine on U.S. military bases.

    Their return almost doubles the number of confirmed cases, which had stood at 15, of the new coronavirus in the United States.

    The 14 passengers tested positive for the virus after disembarking the cruise liner, which is moored off the Japanese port of Yokohama, but before boarding the planes. They were all asymptomatic so health authorities deemed them “fit to fly,” the State Department and the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement Monday.

    They were cordoned off from the other passengers during the flight, it said.

    “These individuals were moved in the most expeditious and safe manner to a specialized containment area on the evacuation aircraft to isolate them in accordance with standard protocols,” the departments said.

    A total of 328 Americans were evacuated on the two flights; all are due to go into quarantine for 14 days, the maximum incubation period for the virus, at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, Calif., or Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.

    Flight data showed that one flight had landed at Travis late Sunday night local time, and the other in San Antonio early Monday.

    Another 44 Americans from the cruise ship had tested positive for coronavirus and had been taken to hospitals in Japan.

    A senior U.S. official on Monday revealed a chaotic chain of events of sudden notifications and gut decisions to put virus-stricken passengers on flights with other evacuees. Japanese health officials administered tests days before the flights were scheduled to leave, but because of testing capacity issues, the results were received in batches, with no clear time for they would be available, according to the official familiar with the operation who declined to provide their name.

    A fleet of buses drove hours to the airport, but on the tarmac officials received word that 14 of the 338 citizens readying to depart had tested positive for coronavirus, the senior official said, though every passenger on the buses was asymptomatic.

    It was a wrench in a coordinated effort. Health experts mulled whether to put the 14 on the flight or divert them to hospitals in Japan, the official said. The State Department had told passengers that virus-infected people would not board flights.

    Other experts weighed the calculus. The planes included a sealed-off section of 18 seats in the back, and part of the plan was to isolate passengers there if they developed symptoms midflight, the official said.

    The State Department made the call to put all of them on the flight. But one issue was whether to disclose the new information to the rest of the passengers, the official said. At least one agency recommended the passengers should be told about the infections, but the official was not sure if they were. The State Department did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

    The World Health Organization said new data has yielded better understanding of how the virus circulates and shows a decline in new cases, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a news conference Monday. But he cautioned against that as a sign the virus has reached its apex.

    “Trends can change as new populations are affected. It’s too early to tell if this reported decline will continue,” he said. “Every scenario is still on the table.”

    There are still puzzling unknowns, such as why children make up relatively few cases, though researchers are confident that coronavirus is less deadly than SARS and MERS viruses.

    The global quarantine turned one Russian woman into a social media celebrity after she detailed her escape from a St. Petersburg hospital on Instagram.

    A Russian court on Monday ordered Alla llyina back to the hospital after she disabled an electronic lock in her room and fled on Feb. 7, a day after her sore throat and recent travel landed her in quarantine, the Associated Press reported.

    “Wild,” Ilyina wrote after she was forced to stay at the hospital the first time. “All three tests showed I was completely healthy, so why the hell the quarantine?”

    Her digital defiance embarrassed Russian officials, the AP reported, triggering the compulsory hospitalization.

    At least three others fled the hospital and one woman, Anna Rybakova, remains at large, the AP reported.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  7. #22

    Re: Virus Updates and Discussion


    New cases on the Diamond Princess

    Japan’s Health Ministry on Monday reported 99 new cases of coronavirus among the passengers and crew of the Diamond Princess, increasing the total number of infections from the ship to 454. Of those, 18 are in serious condition, the Yomiuri newspaper reported.

    Yosuke Kita, a senior official in the Japanese Health Ministry, said the government will have finished testing everyone on board the Diamond Princess by the end of the day on Monday.

    One of the new cases was a Russian woman, who would be taken to hospital for treatment, the Russian Embassy in Tokyo said on Twitter, and two were Australians, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

    The Australian government said it would evacuate more than 200 of its citizens stranded onboard the Diamond Princess on a charter flight that will depart from Japan on Wednesday. They will all have to spend two weeks in quarantine in the northern city of Darwin.

    “I understand that those who were on board will feel very frustrated about this,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday. “But our first responsibility is that we have to protect the health and safety of Australians in Australia today.”

    The Australian plane would also carry out the 11 New Zealanders stranded on the cruise ship, said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and they would have to go into quarantine once home.

    With Monday’s new cases, a total of 26 Australians and two New Zealanders have been confirmed as having the virus.

    The evacuations were underway amid a continuing scramble to contain the virus, especially in China, where the outbreak began in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, in December.

    The number of confirmed infections in China now exceeds 70,000, with the death toll rising to 1,770, the overwhelming majority of both in Hubei province. But China’s National Health Commission has stressed that the number of new cases outside Hubei province has been declining, as authorities impose draconian restrictions on people’s movements in an attempt to stop transmission.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  8. #23

    Re: Virus Updates and Discussion


    Tracking down Westerdam passengers

    Another cruise liner, the Westerdam, owned by Holland America Line, is at the center of a coronavirus-related investigation.

    Hundreds of passengers have flown home, mostly through Thailand or Malaysia, after the ship docked in the Cambodian port of Sihanoukville and Cambodian health authorities deemed it coronavirus-free.

    But an American woman has since tested positive for the virus, setting off a scramble to trace the infection.

    Holland America Line said Monday that it was working closely with government and health officials in Malaysia and Cambodia, as well as experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, to try to trace people who may have been exposed to the virus.

    An 83-year-old American woman who disembarked from the ship at Sihanoukville on Friday took a charter flight to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, along with 145 other passengers. They had all passed health checks by Cambodian authorities and cleared to leave the ship and travel onward.

    When the woman arrived in Kuala Lumpur, she reported not feeling well and tested positive for the virus. Malaysian authorities say she is in stable condition.

    Her traveling companion tested negative, and none of the other passengers or crew members reported symptoms, the company said in the statement.

    The Westerdam on Monday remained in Sihanoukville, where it had docked last week after spending two weeks at sea. Authorities in Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines and Thailand had turned it away after seeing what had happened with the Diamond Princess, where the number of infections had grown rapidly even while the vessel and its passengers were supposed to be quarantined.

    Cambodia’s strongman prime minister, Hun Sen, who has vowed not to do anything to anger China and even wanted to visit Wuhan, said his country would take the ship, which had been deemed virus-free.

    The U.S. ambassador to Cambodia, W. Patrick Murphy, visited the cruise ship while it was in port and posted photos on Twitter of him and his family with American passengers.

    President Trump tweeted on Saturday: “Thank you to the beautiful country of Cambodia for accepting the @CarnivalCruise ship Westerdam into your port. The United States will remember your courtesy!”
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  9. #24

    Re: Virus Updates and Discussion


    Japan braces for new virus transmission phase

    Amid concerns over widening clusters of outbreaks outside of China and a possible new stage in transmission patterns, Japan and South Korea changed their approaches to confronting the virus on Monday.

    Japan reported a sharp rise in the number of people with coronavirus over the weekend, with 65 people now confirmed to have the virus, up from 33 on Thursday. The fact that many of the latest cases cannot be traced directly to China forced Health Minister Katsunobu Kato to acknowledge that the virus has entered a “new phase” of local transmission.

    The country had initially employed a “quarantine-based” approach, for instance restricting entry to people who had recently been in Wuhan, said Shigeru Omi, chief director with the Japan Community Health Care Organization, which runs medical centers across Japan. But now the country is shifting to an approach focused on community-based control and treatment, he said.

    One aspect of this was a “highly sensitive surveillance system … to allow prompt detection of cases.” Health Minister Kato said Japan can now administer more than 3,000 tests a day.

    Designated hospitals will be able to take 1,800 of the most severe cases, while other hospitals will be able to take milder cases, “and citizens with very light symptoms will be requested to stay home,” Omi said. People who develop symptoms will be encouraged to contact special call centers, rather than visit hospitals on their own.

    Omi said that the “goal of this strategy is to slow the speed of transmission and reduce mortality” — a de facto acknowledgment that it has now become impossible to prevent the virus from spreading further in Japan.

    “My gut feeling is we can avoid a situation such as Wuhan,” he said. “Some transmission is inevitable, but the case fatality rate will not be as high as Wuhan and Hubei.”

    As the country was bracing for more infections, Japan’s Imperial Household Agency canceled a birthday event for Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace scheduled for Sunday. The organizers of the Tokyo Marathon said they would only allow elite racers to compete at the event on March 1, preventing tens of thousands of people from being able to participate. The event doubles as a qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

    Apart from Japan, South Korea similarly stepped up its efforts to confront the outbreak on Monday. The country will start testing individuals for the coronavirus if they have been identified by doctors as having pneumonia-like symptoms linked to the virus, even if they have not recently traveled abroad.

    The announcement came as South Korean health officials were still attempting to trace the origins of a new infection, first reported on Sunday.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  10. #25

    Re: Virus Updates and Discussion


    People’s Congress set to be postponed

    In Beijing, China’s ruling Communist Party signaled that it would almost certainly postpone the annual meeting of its legislature, the National People’s Congress and the other national committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Together, these meetings are known as the “Two Sessions” and have opened on March 5 every year since 1995, except for 1997 when the meetings convened on March 1.

    Officials from the NPC standing committee will meet Feb. 24 to discuss postponing the meetings, the official Xinhua News Agency said on Monday.

    At the meetings, Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang take to the stage in the Great Hall of the People on the western edge of Tiananmen Square and lay out their vision for the year ahead. Some 3,000 delegates from around the country attend.

    The move to delay it “underscores the gravity of the coronavirus epidemic,” according to the analysts at the NPC Observer blog. “Officially, the Council is reported to have been mainly concerned with pulling NPC delegates (over a third of whom are local officials) away from their epidemic control efforts,” the analysts said in a blog post, linking to a state media article.

    Other analysts point out that it would be bad optics for the party to hold a huge meeting when all public gatherings are banned, and even worse to show thousands of cadres in masks. The party’s leaders are already being criticized for their slow response to the outbreak and apparent efforts to silence those who warned about it.

    Also on Feb. 24, the NPC standing committee will vote on restricting the sale of, and banning the consumption of, wild animals. The coronavirus outbreak began in a food market in Wuhan where exotic animals, including snakes and hedgehogs, were on sale. The virus is thought to have mutated and jumped from the animals to humans.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  11. #26

    Re: Virus Updates and Discussion


    Macao casinos to reopen

    The semiautonomous Chinese territory of Macao is now set to reopen its casinos on Thursday, capping a 15-day closure that has been aimed at stemming the coronavirus outbreak from spreading further in the city of 670,000 — even as the government continues to urge people not to congregate.

    Macao earns billions in tax revenue from its casinos, and tourism more broadly accounts for 80 percent of its economic output.

    The move was an unexpected one, however, as most analysts believed the shutdown in the world’s largest gambling hub would be extended as cases continue to spike in mainland China.

    Analysts said the decision could have been prompted by Chinese leader Xi’s desire for the coronavirus not to hinder China’s overall progress and its economy. He has warned against “overreactions” to the outbreak.

    Simon Denyer in Yokohama, Japan, Min Joo Kim in Seoul, Shibani Mahtani in Hong Kong and Rick Noack in Berlin contributed to this report. Horton reported from Washington.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  12. #27

    Re: Virus Updates and Discussion

    Couple celebrates anniversary under quarantine

  13. #28

    Re: Virus Updates and Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post

    Japan braces for new virus transmission phase

    Amid concerns over widening clusters of outbreaks outside of China and a possible new stage in transmission patterns, Japan and South Korea changed their approaches to confronting the virus on Monday.
    They better be bracing for more than just that. If the cruise passengers are really going to be let out of quarantine in a few days, then they better be ready for at least a minor outbreak. This is a failed quarantine whose clock should probably be resetting but doesn't appear to be. If those people are able to roam Japan, watch out for additional outbreaks. With 99 new infections just reported, there's just no way that no one else released in a few days won't have it, the odds are not in their favor.

    I don't see how they will let the passengers just go free, but the few Americans remaining behind seem sure that is about to happen. Guess we'll see. I think they'll be sorely disappointed they didn't come home. Getting them off that ship makes a ton of sense, but much more than that really doesn't.

  14. #29

    Re: Virus Updates and Discussion

    Senior Wuhan doctor dies from coronavirus as authorities start to 'round up' patients
    In city of 11m, officials threaten with punishment those who delay reporting symptoms

    Verna Yu in Hong Kong
    Tue 18 Feb 2020 00.09 EST

    One of Wuhan’s most senior doctors has died after contracting the coronavirus as authorities began a sweeping campaign inside the city to seek out patients infected with the virus.

    Liu Zhiming had taken part in the battle against the virus from the start and had made important contributions in fighting and controlling Covid-19, the Wuhan municipal health commission said. During that process, “unfortunately he became infected and passed away at 10:54 Tuesday morning at the age of 51 after all-out efforts to save him failed”, the commission said.

    Confirmation also emerged of the death last Thursday of Xu Depu, the former director of the Ezhou city Chinese medicine hospital in Hubei province. A nurse at the hospital confirmed his death on Tuesday, according to reports in state media.

    Chinese state media reported new house-to-house checks in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people at the centre of the outbreak, that aimed to seek out and “round up” all infected patients. State media said anyone suspected of having the virus would face mandatory testing and anyone who had close contact with virus patients would be put under quarantine.

    According to Chutian Daily, a Wuhan newspaper, 10 quarantine centres similar to the makeshift Fangcang hospital will be set up across eight districts in the city, providing an additional 11,400 beds for people showing mild symptoms of infection. Buildings in factories, industrial estates and transport centres were being converted into makeshift centres for housing patients.

    The reports said all communities and villages would be placed under around-the-clock “closed-off” management, in effect putting them under lockdowns. From Tuesday, anyone who buys cough medicine or treatments to bring down a fever in chemists or online will need to use their ID card, the state-funded site the Paper reported.

    The citywide inspection campaign indicates an escalation of the situation in Wuhan, where former officials have been blamed for a cover-up that led to the rapid spread of the virus. Health officials have reported nearly 50,000 confirmed cases in Hubei alone.

    The draconian measures come after two of the city’s top leaders were sacked last week. Wuhan’s new Communist party chief, Wang Zhonglin, issued the new decree, according to the Global Times, an English-language state newspaper.

    Officials would carry out the inspection with the help of big data and artificial intelligence, it said, without providing further details.

    An order on Monday from the Wuhan city legislature on “winning the coronavirus war” warned that people who refused mandatory measures such as reporting cases of fever and cough to their local residential committees or going into quarantine if they were sick would be subject to “coercive measures”.

    The order also said those who delayed reporting cases or “fabricate and spread false information on the epidemic” would be punished.

    Footage circulated on the website of the Changjiang Daily, a paper run by Wuhan’s Communist party, showing officers in protective clothing knocking on people’s doors and checking their temperatures.

    “We’re racing with time. This is a heated war of annihilation, not a relaxed protracted war,” a narrator says. “It’s a painful process but the fight must be fought imminently. The temporary lockdown is for the sake of our reunion in the near future. Wuhan will be bustling again soon.”

    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.

    Another social media user also said it felt like being “in prison” as she was barred from leaving her house, even to go out for a stroll in the neighbourhood.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  15. #30

    Re: Virus Updates and Discussion

    Coronavirus: Japan to trial HIV antiretroviral drugs on patients – latest news

    2m ago 17:19

    Dozens more countries across Africa and the Americas will be able to test citizens for coronavirus by the end of the week, the World Health Organization said today.

    Over the coming days, 40 countries in Africa and 29 in the Americas are expected to have the ability to detect the Covid-19 virus.

    Previously, many countries sent samples to other nations for testing in a process which can take days. Now they will be able to generate results in 24-48 hours.

    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO chief, said personal protective equipment has been sent to 21 countries and it is preparing to send more to another 106 in the coming weeks.

    18m ago 12:02

    Chinese medical workers who die fighting the coronavirus outbreak will be designated as martyrs, CNN reports.

    Over 1,700 healthcare workers have become infected during the battle to contain the virus and several have died, with Chinese authorities coming under criticism for the pressure it is putting on staff.

    The deaths have included Li Wenliang, the whistleblower doctor who tried to warn of the virus in December, and Liu Zhiming, director of Wuchang hospital in Wuhan, the city at the centre of the outbreak.

    Kristie Lu Stout, a CNN correspondent in Hong Kong, reported:

    China says it will designate all of them — the frontline doctors, nurses and medics who died while fighting the virus — as martyrs of the epicenter of the outbreak.

    31m ago 11:51

    Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has flown Chinese parts in suitcases to Britain to maintain production and could run out after two weeks, as the impact of the coronavirus outbreak hits firms across countries and industries.

    Britain’s biggest carmaker joined major global companies such as Apple in warning of the impact of the virus on supply chains, Reuters reports.

    Fiat Chrysler said last week it had temporarily halted output at its Serbian plant, the first such suspension by an automaker in Europe in response to the coronavirus crisis.

    Components made in China are used in millions of vehicles assembled around the world and Hubei province – the centre of the virus outbreak – is a major hub for vehicle parts production and shipments.

    The JLR chief executive, Ralf Speth, said:

    We are safe for this week and we are safe for next week and in the third week we have ... parts missing.

    We have flown parts in suitcases from China to the UK.

    Production at the firm’s Chinese factory would recommence on 24 February and was “safe for the very first week”, he added.

    The new coronavirus has killed over 1,900 people in China and infected around 72,000, confining millions to their homes, disrupting businesses and delaying reopening of factories after the extended Lunar New Year holiday break.

    Speth said sales in China, the world’s biggest auto market, had been hit. The knockback comes after JLR had enjoyed a recovery in sales there, helping it to return to profitability in recent quarters.

    “That’s completely stopped. It’s zero,” he said. “You don’t know whether the economy will catch up or whether this kind of loss is just a loss.”


    1h ago 11:11
    Nearly 100 cases of human-to-human spread outside China

    The are 92 cases in 12 countries outside China of human-to-human spread of the coronavirus, the World Health Organization chief has said.

    “But we don’t have data to make a meaningful comparison to China cases,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus clarified.

    Speaking at a press conference, he added:

    We have not seen sustained local transmission of coronavirus except in specific circumstances like the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

    Dr Mike Ryan, director of the WHO health emergencies programme, said “clearly there has been more transmission than expected” on the cruise ship.

    He said Japanese authorities are adjusting to reality and taking necessary public health measures to evacuate people and deal with their follow-up care.

    1h ago 11:00

    Two Irish citizens have tested positive for coronavirus onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, has reported.

    More than 100 people have been tested in Ireland for the disease, but none have tested positive.

    There are six Irish nationals on the coronavirus-hit cruise ship. The two who have tested positive share dual citizenship with another EU member state and are not normally resident in Ireland. They are being treated at a hospital in Japan.

    The Irish deputy prime minister, Simon Coveney, said:

    We are also in close contact with those who remain in quarantine on the ship.

    We are working with our EU partners and other like-minded countries regarding options for their return.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

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