Just as the mainstream media was starting to speculate that China could be getting this outbreak under control, a dramatic spike in the numbers has changed everything. All of a sudden people are freaking out again, global financial markets are gyrating all over the place and medical experts all over the world are making bold pronouncements of doom. On Wednesday, Hubei province reported 14,840 new infections and 242 more deaths from this virus. But the biggest reason why there was such a jump in the numbers is because a decision was made to reclassify patients that had been “clinically diagnosed” but up until now had not been counted as “confirmed cases”. The following comes from CNBC…
China’s Hubei province reported an additional 242 deaths and 14,840 new cases as of Feb. 12 — a sharp increase from the previous day. The province said it is starting to include “clinically diagnosed” cases in its figures and that 13,332 of the new cases fall under that classification.
The government said that a total of 1,310 people have died in the province and that 48,206 people have been infected in the region.
So this really wasn’t as big of a change as many are making it out to be.
The following is what Hubei province is saying about the decision to reclassify patients…
With the deepening of understanding of new coronavirus pneumonia and the accumulation of experience in diagnosis and treatment, in view of the characteristics of the epidemic in Hubei Province, the General Office of the National Health and Health Commission and the Office of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine issued the “Diagnosis and Treatment Plan for New Coronavirus Infected Pneumonia (Trial (Version) “adds” clinical diagnosis “to the case diagnosis classification in Hubei Province, so that patients can receive standardized treatment according to confirmed cases as early as possible to further improve the success rate of treatment.
According to the plan, Hubei Province has recently conducted investigations on suspected cases and revised the diagnosis results, and newly diagnosed patients were diagnosed according to the new diagnosis classification. In order to be consistent with the classification of case diagnosis issued by other provinces across the country, starting today, Hubei Province will include the number of clinically diagnosed cases into the number of confirmed cases for publication.
Overall, there are now 59,805 confirmed cases inside China, and the death toll has now passed the 1,300 mark.
But those are not the most important numbers.
To me, it is far more important to watch what happens to the number of cases around the rest of the world. Ultimately, that will determine whether this becomes a true global pandemic or not.
A week ago, there were 227 confirmed cases outside of China, and now there are 524. Over the course of about a week we have seen that number more than double, and that is definitely very troubling.
And we continue to get more anecdotal evidence that the situation inside China is far more dire than government officials are admitting.
For example, the Chinese government has been encouraging many businesses that shut down for the virus to reopen so that the economy can start humming again, but it looks like that may have been a huge mistake. In the city of Suzhou, a confirmed case was discovered right after one company reopened their doors, and that resulted in 200 employees immediately being placed under quarantine.
Company in #Suzhou reopened. One #CoVid2019 case found. Over 200 employed couldn’t go home and immediately under quarantine. They managed to organize quilts for themselves.
苏︍州单位提前开工，确诊一例 #武汉肺炎 ，全单位的人上了一天班，家都回不去了，200多人自带被子，全部隔离 pic.twitter.com/Fd660RKfqL
— 曾錚 Jennifer Zeng (@jenniferatntd) February 12, 2020
This virus is completely and totally out of control in China right now, and any attempts to “return to normal” too quickly will just make things worse.
Wishful thinking isn’t going to solve anything. It has become exceedingly apparent that this virus can be transmitted from person to person with extreme ease, and the Chinese need to settle in for a very long battle with this virus.
At this point, this virus is spreading very rapidly even among the police and the military…
A staff member at the Central Theater General Hospital (Hankou Hospital) in Wuhan confirmed armed police officers were hospitalized.
Among them, 1,500 Chinese soldiers and 1,000 armed police are being quarantined, and China Human Rights and Democracy Information Center, headquartered in Hong Kong, reported on February 10 that 10 CCP soldiers and 15 armed police have been diagnosed with the new virus in Hubei province.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army General Hospital (Hainan) Hospital in Sanya is preparing to test 3,000 people for new virus pneumonia samples.
300 armed police were isolated to a training site of the Hubei Provincial Corps of the Armed Police.
An epidemic has emerged in the Chinese Navy. After a serviceman of the Navy Submarine Force in Sanya, Hainan, was diagnosed with Covid-19, 300 sailors were isolated, and training programs on nuclear submarines, scheduled to start this month, have been suspended.
As this crisis continues to intensify, experts all over the planet are fearing the worst. Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London says that the death rate among those that have the virus in Wuhan could ultimately go as high as 18 percent, and Hong Kong epidemiologist Gabriel Leung is warning that most of the population of the globe could end up being infected if dramatic action is not taken.
But other medical professionals believe that this outbreak will start to fade once warmer weather arrives. Hopefully they are correct, but Dr. Nancy Messionnier says that it is still way too early to make that sort of an assumption…
Dr. Nancy Messionnier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sounds a similar note when it comes to predicting a slowdown of cases with warmer weather. “I think it’s premature to assume that,” she said during a call with reporters on Wednesday. “We haven’t been through even a single year with this pathogen.”
We shall see what happens. But even if this outbreak subsides when the weather is warm, it could still flare back up again in a massive way once next winter arrives.
In fact, many experts believe that we will now be dealing with this coronavirus year after year for the foreseeable future.
Hopefully that is not true, but without a doubt our world is getting a little bit crazier with each passing day.
It seems like one crisis after another just keeps popping up, and there will almost certainly be more great challenges that we must face in the months ahead.
For the moment, this coronavirus outbreak is taking center stage, and the numbers are getting significantly worse every 24 hours.
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