Beijing joins Wuhan, Zhejiang, Macau in canceling #LunarNewYear celebrations. #China capital’s culture & tourism bureau says all public gathering activities, incl. traditional temple fairs, are off. (Holiday is normally major consumer spending time. #WuhanCoronavirus) @TheDomino
— Eunice Yoon (@onlyyoontv) January 23, 2020
This is like cancelling Christmas, if Thanksgiving and maybe Amity Island‘s Independence Day were also celebrated at the end of December. (Despite the obvious snark potential for Westerners, remember that the astrological symbol for the new Year of the Rat does not have the same negative connotations in Asia.) Good news is, the relevant authorities are taking this with all due seriousness. Bad news — seems to be pretty damned serious.
A thing to keep front and center on Wuhan: Many people work 6 days a week, 12 hours a day, or more,
so that once a year they can go home for Spring Festival. This is a public health disaster and also a big heartbreak for millions and millions of Chinese families who live apart.
— Emily Rauhala (@emilyrauhala) January 23, 2020
#WuhanOutbreak not yet a public health emergency beyond #China, says @WHO chief. “Make no mistake- this is an emergency in China,” he says. But adds Beijing has taken measures appropriate to contain coronavirus. Does not recommend any broader restrictions on travel or trade. ??
— Eunice Yoon (@onlyyoontv) January 23, 2020
?BREAKING: virologist who helped identify SARS says a bigger #CoronavirusOutbreak is “certain,” “conservatively” estimating it could be 10x bigger than SARS because SARS was transmitted by only a few “super spreaders” in a more defined part of #China.?https://t.co/94sOBiSLBO
— Dr. Dena Grayson (@DrDenaGrayson) January 24, 2020
It’s reached the stage where the NYTimes is running live updates:
The authorities greatly expanded a travel lockdown in central China on Thursday, essentially penning in more than 22 million residents in an effort to contain a deadly virus that is overwhelming hospitals and fueling fears of a pandemic.
The new limits — abruptly decreed ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, China’s busiest travel season — were an extraordinary step that underscored the ruling Communist Party’s deepening fears about the outbreak of a little understood coronavirus.
Chinese health officials reported on Friday that there had been 26 deaths from and 830 cases of the coronavirus, a sharp increase.
The official death toll increased by more than a half-dozen in 24 hours, while the number of confirmed cases jumped by more than 200.
On Thursday morning, the authorities imposed a travel lockdown in Wuhan, the industrial city of 11 million at the epicenter of the outbreak. Airlines canceled hundreds of flights to Wuhan, leaving thousands of people stranded. Later in the day, officials said they would also halt public transportation in the nearby cities of Huanggang, Ezhou, Zhijiang and Chibi, which are together home to more than nine million residents. And by Friday, restrictions had extended to Xiantao, Qianjiang and Enshi, three other cities that include large rural populations.
[Only] Two deaths have been confirmed outside the virus epicenter.
One patient died in the province of Hebei — more than 600 miles north of Wuhan — after contracting the coronavirus, the provincial authorities announced on Thursday. Another death was confirmed in Heilongjiang, a province near the border with Russia more than 1,500 miles from Wuhan.
The disease had also been diagnosed in patients in Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States.
In Wuhan, where the outbreak began, anxiety and anger prevailed as worried residents crowded into hospitals and teams of medical workers in hazmat suits sought to identify the infected…
As a corollary, it’s becoming harder to pick up anything useful from a basic google or twitter search — there’s too many random individuals forwarding guesses, half-truths & conspiracy theories. From the first dozen mentions I saw, I figured the ‘special hospital construction’ story was fear-mongering, but the People’s Daily seems to be a legit news source:
Construction of the special hospital with a capacity of 1,000 beds for patients with #nCoV2019 has begun in Wuhan, according to the model of the hospital built in seven days in Beijing to deal with #SARS in 2003. The construction is scheduled to be completed by February 3. pic.twitter.com/MtVgIG0liC
— People's Daily, China (@PDChina) January 24, 2020
Experts say the Chinese government made a series of missteps that had eroded public confidence. “They failed the test,” Professor Mao said. “They just copied the SARS situation, making small things turn into a big problem.”https://t.co/zj2LcV2YME via @NYTimes
— Gillian Wong / 黄敬龄 (@gillianwong) January 23, 2020
Guan Yi, the virologist who identified SARS, with a chilling perspective on the Wuhan outbreak: “I’ve seen it all: bird flu, SARS, influenza A, swine fever and the rest. Most of the past epidemics were controllable, but this time, I’m petrified.” https://t.co/K7563zzUVW
— Alice Li (@byaliceli) January 23, 2020
CNBC's @onlyyoontv breaks down what's happening on the ground in China with the coronavirus spreading on @CNBCTheExchange . What cities are closed, how many people are impacted, the precautions they're taking and the huge impact on the Lunar New Year. pic.twitter.com/YFEHjQP0Cy
— The Exchange (@CNBCTheExchange) January 23, 2020
– Dozens are now being monitored in the United States.
– Texas A&M student suspected of infection.
– Washington state investigating other potential cases.
– Something happened at LAX that officials won't discuss.https://t.co/fO6SfLmK6s
— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) January 24, 2020