Toll From Outbreak Climbs in China as Infections Reach Europe and Australia

“Toll From Outbreak Climbs in China as Infections Reach Europe and Australia”
“Shanghai Disneyland shut down, hospitals pleaded for help, France reported three cases and the youngest victim so far was identified.
Published Jan. 24, 2020”
“New cases are confirmed in the United States, France and Australia.”
“Anger and mistrust spill over online.
Anxiety hangs over residents on Lunar New Year’s Eve.
China reports two deaths far from the outbreak’s center.
Experts are preparing for an outbreak that could last months.”

“Fifteen new deaths were reported in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.
Fifteen more people have died in the city of Wuhan, the Hubei provincial capital and epicenter of the outbreak, the health authorities in Hubei said.
The new figures, announced early Saturday, represented a nearly 60 percent jump from the previous death toll of 26.
Just three of the 41 deaths reported over all have taken place outside of Wuhan: one in another city in Hubei Province, one in Hebei Province, and one in Heilongjiang, near the Russian border.
The new victims ranged from 55 to 87 years old. Eleven were male, and four female.
Nationwide, more than 400 new cases of the virus were diagnosed, officials said early Saturday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in China to nearly 1,300.
Wuhan Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Spread of the Outbreak
The virus has sickened more than 1,300 people in China and a handful in other countries.
China restricts travel for 35 million people as the death toll rises.
The authorities on Friday greatly expanded a travel lockdown in central China to include 12 cities near the center of the outbreak, effectively penning in 35 million residents — nearly the population of Canada — in an effort to contain the dangerous coronavirus.

The new travel limits — abruptly decreed ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, China’s busiest travel season — were an extraordinary step that underlined the governing Communist Party’s deepening fears about the outbreak of a little-understood coronavirus.

The rapidly expanding outbreak has overwhelmed the Chinese province’s hospitals and fueled fears of a global pandemic.
All the deaths reported so far have been in China. Most have been older patients, but included a 36-year-old man.
..
On Thursday morning, the authorities imposed a travel lockdown in Wuhan, and airlines canceled hundreds of flights to the city, leaving thousands of people stranded.
Passengers wearing face masks at Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday.
New cases are confirmed in the United States, France and Australia.

France became the first country in Europe to report the infections. The Health Ministry reported three confirmed cases — two in Paris and one in Bordeaux. All three people had spent time in China.
Agnès Buzyn, the health minister, told reporters earlier Friday that France reported the first European cases “because we were very quick in establishing the test and identifying the cases.”
Australia reported its first confirmed case on Saturday: a man in his 50s visiting from China, who was being treated in a Melbourne hospital. The authorities there said he had been in Wuhan before falling ill, and that he had arrived in Melbourne on Sunday, on a flight from Guangzhou.
American officials have announced expanded screenings for the infection at major airports in the United States. In addition to New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, airports in Atlanta and Chicago began examining passengers arriving from Wuhan for signs of illness.

Anger and mistrust spill over online.
On Chinese social media, people across the country expressed mounting mistrust and resentment of the authorities in Wuhan, whom they blamed for mishandling the outbreak.
Some users called for Wuhan leaders to be removed. Others mocked the failure of the Communist Party’s newspapers to treat the epidemic with front-page urgency. Most of those posts were quickly removed by censors.
On the Twitter-like platform Weibo, Li Haipeng, a former journalist, wrote: “What is happening in Wuhan is really outrageous. Can it be hollow to this extent, incompetent to this degree?”
His post was shared more than 41,000 times and received more than 5,000 comments. One commenter wrote, “I hope the central government can take over before dawn. It’s almost like anarchy.”
Another wrote, “Wuhan’s party secretary and governor cannot soothe the people’s anger.”

Still, at least one person was decidedly complimentary: President Trump, who reached a trade truce with China last week and has sought to cool tensions with the Chinese government. “China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter on Friday. “The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency.”
Mr. Trump especially singled out China’s leader, Xi Jinping: “In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!”

Police officers checked the trunk of a car for smuggled wild animals at a toll station outside Wuhan on Friday.

“I think he’s O.K., but now even an ordinary sneeze makes you worry,” Mr. Wu said. “You start to think every cough or sneeze might be the virus.”
Chen Yanming, 47, who said her father might have contracted the coronavirus, said she was melancholic and anxious as the Lunar New Year came. She said her father had suffered a high fever for a few days and was being treated in the hospital.
“Today should be the Chinese people’s happiest day,” she said, “but this sickness has destroyed that feeling.”
China reports two deaths far from the outbreak’s center.
Workers spraying disinfectant in a train in Seoul, South Korea, in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.Credit.
The official death toll from the mysterious coronavirus increased by more than a half-dozen in 24 hours, to 26, while the number of confirmed cases jumped by more than 200.

The youngest victim of the outbreak so far has been identified as a 36-year-old man identified only as Li. He died on Thursday after being admitted to the hospital on Jan. 9, the Hubei Health Commission said. He suffered a cardiac arrest less than two hours before he died, officials said.

The disease has now been detected in Australia, Malaysia, Nepal, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, France and the United States.
On Friday, the authorities in Nepal said a student who had returned to the country from China had been confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus. He has already been treated and released.
Dr. Anup Bastola, a spokesman for the government-run Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Diseases Hospital, said a 32-year-old doctoral student was admitted to the hospital on Jan. 13 after having some respiratory problems.
Concerned over his symptoms, the doctors sent samples of his blood and sputum for testing. Later, he was found to be infected with the virus that emerged from Wuhan, China.
After spending four days in the hospital, the student was discharged on Jan. 17.
In the aftermath, Nepal’s Health Ministry has activated health screenings at Tribhuvan International Airport.
…promote the use of masks and isolate sick patients.
Overrun hospitals turn away residents, some displaying symptoms.

Xiao Shibing, 51, has had a fever for 15 days and finds it difficult to breathe. When he went to a hospital, he was not tested for the coronavirus, said his daughter, Xiao Hongxia. He was told he had a viral chest infection and was sent home.

Cai Pei, 41, said his wife began coughing and developed a fever three days ago. He wrote on Weibo that hospitals would not admit her, and he had difficulty finding masks and cold medicine in pharmacies.

“Sometimes I can only hide and cry, but I couldn’t tell her and had to reassure her that it is not the virus,” Mr. Cai said by phone. “It is very scary. If it’s real, we have a child and elderly parents at home. What if we all get sick?”
Wuhan hospitals make urgent appeals for supplies and help.
“Shortage of medical supplies, request help!!!” the Wuhan Children’s Hospital said on Thursday in a post on Weibo, the Chinese social network.
The hospital asked for donations of surgical masks, disposable garments, protective goggles and gloves.
… The central government on Thursday acknowledged the severe strain on resources, and the Ministry of Finance announced an urgent allocation of one billion renminbi, about $144 million, for epidemic prevention and control work.
State news media also carried reports of people volunteering to help ease the strain on health workers. Young doctors at the Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University volunteered to take on additional shifts or to take over from colleagues with children, the state broadcaster CCTV reported.
A team of 30 volunteers in Wuhan mobilized to drive doctors to and from hospitals, while others have offered to help the local Red Cross answer phone calls and publicize requests for help from hospitals, according to a report by the China Business Journal.
Britain and the U.S. warn citizens to avoid the outbreak zone.”

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/24/world/asia/china-coronavirus.html

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