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Morning brief: Wuhan coronavirus update for Feb 10, 2020

Morning brief




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As of 5am, Feb 10, 2020:

WORLD COUNT: There are 37,612 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the world. A total of 28 countries and territories have been affected so far. The number of deaths has risen to 815. Across the world, a total of 6,198 are in critical condition, while 2,990 previously infected persons have recovered. In terms of the number of lives it has claimed, the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) epidemic has overtaken the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak that occurred between 2002 and 2003, claiming 815 lives as opposed to the 774 killed by SARS. However, SARS’ death rate was 9.6 percent (one in every 10 infected people died), while the current virus’ death rate stands at 2.2 percent. The coronavirus, with over 37,000 cases, is also more contagious than SARS, which had only over 8,000 confirmed cases worldwide. On Friday (Feb 7), a study published Friday in the medical journal JAMA found that 41 percent of the first 138 patients diagnosed at one hospital in Wuhan, China, were presumed to have gotten the infection in that hospital. This means that almost half of the initial infections in this hospital seem to have been spread within the hospital itself (scientists call it nosocomial transmission). Similarly to other coronaviruses like SARS and MERS, this current coronavirus is spreading within hospitals.

CHINA: There are 37,237 confirmed cases of infection in China. The country’s death count now stands at 813 people. On Saturday (Feb 8), China’s National Health Commission announced that it has temporarily renamed the Wuhan coronavirus the “Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia”, or NCP. This should take the focus and stigma off of Wuhan, where the virus originated. There is currently no news on when an official final title for the virus will be designated. China’s Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming announced that Chinese whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang will be “remembered as a hero”. Authorities in Fangxian County, Hubei Province, are paying sick people 1,000 yuan (S$197.5) each for reporting themselves to a hospital. Those who catch others with a fever or other symptoms of the virus and report them will receive a reward of 500 yuan (S$98.8). The offer is only valid until February 18. Hong Kong reported three new cases of the virus, raising the countrywide total to 29. Financial Secretary Paul Chan said the economy, particularly in tourism and retail, is likely to take a dive, as traveller numbers from mainland China have been greatly reduced by the outbreak. More than 3,600 passengers and crew of the World Dream cruise ship, which has been under quarantine and docked in Hong Kong since Feb 5, have been cleared of the coronavirus—everyone tested negative— and have since been allowed to leave. Macao has not reported any new cases of the virus, with the country’s total at 10.

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed three new cases of the virus in Singapore, bringing the country total to 43. Contact tracing of the new cases is currently underway. The ministry said that the three new confirmed cases have “no recent travel history to China”.

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Here are some details on the country’s 43 confirmed cases:

  • 26 are male
  • 17 are female
  • 16 are Chinese visitors
  • 22 are Singaporeans
  • two are Singaporean permanent residents
  • two are Singaporean work pass holders (from China and Bangladesh)
  • one is an Indonesian domestic worker
  • 41 years is the patient median age
  • six months – the youngest patient’s age
  • 73 years old – the oldest patient’s age
  • one is a 17-year-old boy
  • five are under the age of 30
  • 11 are in their 50s (five are aged 56)

ASEAN: Malaysia has declared a new case of the virus, raising the country’s total to 17. Vietnam has also reported one new confirmed case, bringing its total to 14. No other countries in the region have declared new cases of the coronavirus.

ASIA: Japan reported seven new cases of the virus. It has the most cases of the virus outside of mainland China, with a total of 96. Off the coast of Yokohama, 70 cases have been confirmed onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, where quarantine work has been ongoing since Feb 4. Princess Cruises will offer a full refund for all passengers aboard the ship, a company representative said to CNN. There are more than 3,700 people on the cruise ship, including 2,600 passengers. South Korea announced three new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the country tally to 26 cases. Taiwan also confirmed a new case of the virus. It now has a total of 18 cases. No other countries in the region have declared new cases of the coronavirus.

EUROPE: The World Health Organization (WHO) international team of experts left for China on Sunday (Feb 9) to help in the fight against the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Twitter. Germany reported that the 20 citizens and family members who were evacuated from Wuhan were returned to Berlin via the United Kingdom on Sunday (Feb 9). The country has not confirmed any new cases of the virus, with its total currently at 14. A fourth case of the coronavirus has been reported in the United Kingdom. According to the officials, the latest case is a contact of a previously confirmed case in the country, and the virus was passed on in France. The five new cases France reported on Saturday (Feb 8) were all British nationals. One of them was 9 years old. The country has a total of 11 cases. Spain’s National Center for Microbiology reported the country’s second case of the coronavirus. The patient is one of four who had previous contact with an infected French national. No other countries in the region have declared new cases of the coronavirus.

AMERICA: The United States and Canada did not report any new cases of the coronavirus, with countrywide totals of 12 and 7, respectively. A group of 34 Brazilian nationals arrived in Brazil after being evacuated from Wuhan, China, on military planes. President Jair Bolsonaro had previously expressed reservations in the repatriations for fear of further contamination. Brazil’s Health Regulatory Agency ANVISA announced that the evacuees will be quarantined for 18 days. No other countries in the region have declared new cases of the coronavirus.

AUSTRALIA: Australia, which currently has 15 confirmed cases of the virus, did not report any new cases, and New Zealand still has no cases of the virus in the country.

AFRICA: As of yet, no confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus have been reported in the region.


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