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Xi says China faces 'grave situation' as virus death toll hits 42

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Xi says China faces 'grave situation' as virus death toll hits 42

By Tony Munroe and Roxanne Liu

 

2020-01-25T081320Z_1_LYNXMPEG0O0B1_RTROPTP_4_CHINA-HEALTH.JPG

Police officers stand guard in front of the closed gate of Lama Temple where a notice saying that the temple is closed for the safety concern following the outbreak of a new coronavirus is seen, in Beijing, China January 25, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

 

BEIJING (Reuters) - President Xi Jinping said China was facing a "grave situation" as the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak jumped to 42, overshadowing Lunar New Year celebrations that began on Saturday.

 

China also announced further transport restrictions.

 

With more than 1,400 people infected worldwide, most of them in China, Hong Kong declared a virus emergency, scrapped celebrations and restricted links to mainland China.

 

Australia confirmed its first four cases and Canada its first on Saturday, after Malaysia confirmed four and France reported Europe's first cases on Friday, as health authorities around the world scrambled to prevent a pandemic.

 

The United States is arranging a charter flight on Sunday to bring its citizens and diplomats back from Wuhan, the central Chinese city at the epicenter of the outbreak, the Wall Street Journal reported.

 

In Hong Kong, with five confirmed cases, the city's leader Carrie Lam said flights and high speed rail trips between the city and Wuhan will be halted. Schools in Hong Kong that are currently on Lunar New Year holidays will remain closed until Feb. 17.

 

Xi held a politburo meeting on Saturday on measures to fight the "accelerating" outbreak, state television reported.

 

As of 8 p.m. local time (1200 GMT) on Saturday, the death toll in China had risen to 42, authorities reported. Some 1,372 people in China have been infected with the virus - traced to a seafood market in Wuhan that was illegally selling wildlife.

 

The virus has also been detected in Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Nepal, and the United States.

 

In Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, officials appealed for masks and protective suits.

 

"We are steadily pushing forward the disease control and prevention ... But right now we are facing an extremely severe public health crisis," Hu Yinghai, deputy director-general of the Civil Affairs Department, told a news briefing.

 

The newly identified coronavirus has created alarm because there are still many unknowns surrounding it, such as how dangerous it is and how easily it spreads between people. It can cause pneumonia, which has been deadly in some cases.

 

Ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing said it was halting inter-city services to and from Beijing from Sunday, while the capital will also stop running inter-province shuttle buses.

 

State broadcaster CCTV, citing an announcement from China's tourism industry association, said the country would halt all group tours, both at home and abroad, from Monday.

 

Wuhan said it would ban non-essential vehicles from its downtown starting Sunday, further paralyzing a city of 11 million that has been on virtual lockdown since Thursday, with nearly all flights canceled and checkpoints blocking the main roads leading out of town.

 

Authorities have since imposed transport restrictions on nearly all of Hubei province, which has a population of 59 million.

 

PROTECTIVE SUITS

 

Australia confirmed its first four cases in two different cities on Saturday, and the country's chief health official said he expected more cases as Australia is a popular destination for Chinese tourists.

 

Canada on Saturday identified its first case in a Toronto resident who recently returned from Wuhan.

 

State-run China Global Television Network reported on Saturday that a doctor who had been treating patients in Wuhan, 62-year-old Liang Wudong, had died from the virus.

 

U.S. coffee chain Starbucks said it was closing all its Hubei outlets for the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, following a similar move by McDonald's in five Hubei cities.

 

Workers in white protective suits checked temperatures of passengers entering the subway at Beijing's central railway station on Saturday, while some train services in the eastern Yangtze River Delta region were suspended, the local railway operator said.

 

'GLOBAL HEALTH THREAT'

 

There are fears transmission could accelerate as hundreds of millions of Chinese travel during the holiday, although many have canceled their plans.

 

Airports around the world have stepped up screening of passengers from China, although some health officials and experts have questioned the effectiveness of such screenings.

 

In an illustration of how such efforts could miss cases, doctors at a Paris hospital said two of the three Chinese nationals in France who have been diagnosed with the virus had arrived in the country without showing any symptoms.

 

The World Health Organization this week stopped short of calling the outbreak a global health emergency.

 

A report by infectious disease specialists at Imperial College, London on Saturday said that despite this, the epidemic "represents a clear and ongoing global health threat," adding: "It is uncertain at the current time whether it is possible to contain the continuing epidemic within China."

 

While China has called for transparency in managing the crisis, after a cover-up of the 2002/2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) spread, officials in Wuhan have been criticized for their handling of the current outbreak.

 

In rare public dissent, a senior journalist at a Hubei newspaper run by the ruling Communist Party wrote on Friday on the Twitter-like Weibo social media platform that there should be an "immediate" change of leadership in Wuhan. The post was later removed.

 

Hubei province, where authorities are rushing to build a 1,000-bed hospital in six days, announced on Saturday that there were 658 patients affected by the virus in treatment, 57 of whom were critically ill.

 

Shanghai Disneyland was closed from Saturday. Beijing's Lama Temple, where people make offerings for the New Year, has also closed, as have some other temples.

 

Britain advised against all travel to Hubei and told its citizens in the province to leave.

 

(GRAPHIC: The spread of a new coronavirus - https://graphics.reuters.com/CHINA-HEALTH/0100B56G2WC/coronavirus.jpg)

 

(Reporting by Sophie Yu, Yilei Sun, Judy Hua, Roxanne Liu, Se Young Lee and Cate Cadell; Additional reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne, Yawen Chen in Beijing and Felix Tam in Hong Kong; Writing by Michael Perry and Frances Kerry; Editing by Sam Holmes, Giles Elgood, Hugh Lawson and Sandra Maler)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-01-26

 

 

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2 hours ago, ezzra said:

Me asking, if 42 death out of 1.45 billion people in China is 'grave' what he will call say 420 or say 4,200 death?...

I think he meant grave danger,it could become a lot worse.

 

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1 hour ago, ChouDoufu said:

call me when the coronavirus becomes deadlier than driving in thailand, when the death rate exceeds thailand's traffic fatality rate of 32.7 out of 100,000.

According to what I read the virus has a mortality rate around 3% (it increases significantly if you are very young, old or sick) and is extremely virulent. So it kills around 3000 out of 100,000. Keep in mind that it's probably worse since there is rumour from Chinese doctor that they are pressured not to report all death and journalist getting arrested.

 

Unfortunately by the time you receive the call you or most people around you might be already infected. 

Edited by Tayaout

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Quote

China has ordered all travel agencies to suspend sales of domestic and international tours as part of an effort to contain the spread of a novel coronavirus that has killed 25 and sickened hundreds.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-24/china-orders-travel-agencies-to-suspend-all-tour-sales

 

This will have an effect to countries, which normally receive lots of Chinese tourists. 

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1 hour ago, Tayaout said:

According to what I read the virus has a mortality rate around 3% (it increases significantly if you are very young, old or sick) and is extremely virulent. So it kills around 3000 out of 100,000. Keep in mind that it's probably worse since there is rumour from Chinese doctor that they are pressured not to report all death and journalist getting arrested.

 

Unfortunately by the time you receive the call you or most people around you might be already infected. 

I see that 3% number, but doubt it means much. As the number of cases is rising exponentially, there is no way to know who will survive.  Of the first 41 cases, 1/3 needed ICU and 5 died.

 

As of 11:30am: confirmed 2005 suspected 2684 dead 56 cured 49. 

Total 4689 cases in China. 

Rise in 1 day 1407, (SARS max was about 100+ per week)

About 350 of 2005 confirmed in critical condition

 

Here's a more sober look from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy( U. Minn)

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/01/studies-highlight-ncov-similarity-sars-family-transmission

 

I would guess about 10% with some government massaging.

 

Edited by rabas
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Too little too late-if Xi says it’s serious, the world or should brace themselves because they always prefer secrets and misinformation 

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4 hours ago, jvs said:

I think he meant grave danger,it could become a lot worse.

 

danger of running out of Grave space

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28 minutes ago, tifino said:

danger of running out of Grave space

It's all cremation in China. It's mainly Buddhist, see?

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19 minutes ago, Traubert said:

It's all cremation in China. It's mainly Buddhist, see?

there have been Mass Graves reported, ever since The Great Leap Forward... 

maybe concede to, and accept, a Mass Fire Pit then?

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19 minutes ago, tifino said:

there have been Mass Graves reported, ever since The Great Leap Forward... 

maybe concede to, and accept, a Mass Fire Pit then?

Sure, 60 years ago, it's a very different place now.

 

No need for a mass fire pit just yet. There's only 56 dead from the virus so far, and 28,000 people die every day in China yet they seem to cope.

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9 hours ago, ezzra said:

Me asking, if 42 death out of 1.45 billion people in China is 'grave' what he will call say 420 or say 4,200 death?...

It's NOT about 42 or 42.000 deaths, but about a disease, we have ZERO defence against.

Remind: all disaster moovies started with just a few casualties because of an infection. It ended with just a few who survived.

That's why we have a government: to think ahead and take all scenarios into view.

Edited by puipuitom
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It is premature to try and extrapolate mortality  percentages now. and try to make future projections. Conditions are sure to change as cases increase and resources become limited.  Patients that get the best care now, might get little or no care, on the other hand advances could be made to reduce virility or development of a vaccine.  

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