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Morning brief: Wuhan coronavirus update for Feb 9, 2020

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As of 5am, Feb 9, 2020:

WORLD COUNT: There are 34,974 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 724. Across the world, a total of 6,106 are in critical condition, while 2,410 previously infected persons have recovered.

CHINA: There are 34,620 confirmed cases of infection in China. The country’s death count now stands at 722 people. The Chinese government has announced that harsh punishments await any persons who disrupt or get in the way of epidemic work—and in severe cases, even the death penalty will not be off the table. A statement released to the public outline seven medical-related crimes, which included injuring medical personnel, tearing off their protective gear and refusing to be screened or quarantined. China has speedily built two new hospitals, one in ten days and the next one in 12. Huoshenshan Hospital can accommodate 1,000 beds and Leishenshan Hospital has space for 1,500. Patients will reportedly be zoned, or grouped, into the different levels of risk they pose. A lawyer turned citizen journalist reporting from Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, has been forcibly quarantined, according to his friends and relatives. Chen Qiushi had been posting videos revealing his take on the city’s conditions and the government’s response to the virus until he disappeared at the end of January. His mother confirmed his disappearance on Friday (Feb 7) and a friend of his said that the Qingdao public security contacted Qiushi’s parents to inform them that their son was detained under quarantine. Medical professionals in China have been making many personal sacrifices in the fight against the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), from cutting and shaving their own hair to make way for the protective gear and wearing adult diapers to barely sleeping. Their extreme dedication to the cause and to the well-being of others is incredibly heroic. Hong Kong announced two new cases of the virus, increasing the country’s total to 26. On Saturday (Feb 8), authorities began to impose a two-week quarantine period on all travellers arriving from mainland China. So far, 161 people have been placed under quarantineMacao has not reported any new cases of the virus, with the country’s total at 10.

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced 10 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total country count to 40. For information on all the confirmed cases, click here. Nine of the confirmed cases – 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27, 28, 34 and 40 – are linked to a group associated with a medical products shop called Yong Thai Hang at 24 Cavan Road. Three of the cases – 30, 36 and 39 – are connected to a private business meeting at Grand Hyatt Singapore. A possible group of five cases – 8, 9, 31, 33 and 38 – are linked to The Life Church and Missions Singapore at Paya Lebar. The country has declared that the outbreak is on Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level orange.

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ASEAN: Thailand reported seven new confirmed cases of the virus and has a total of 32 cases in the country. Malaysia confirmed two new cases of infection, bringing the countrywide tally to 16. Vietnam confirmed one new case of the virus and currently has a total of 13 cases. No other countries in the region have declared new cases of the coronavirus.

ASIA: Taiwan confirmed its 17th case of the coronavirus and South Korea reported its 24th confirmed case on Saturday (Feb 8). Japan reported 44 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the country’s total to 86 confirmed cases. A Japanese national suspected of contracting the coronavirus died of pneumonia in a Wuhan hospital. It still has not been confirmed whether the cause of death was the virus. The United Arab Emirates confirmed two new coronavirus cases inside the country.

EUROPE: The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it is sending an international team to investigate the coronavirus outbreak in China. It urged the public to be aware of false information being pushed on the media and social networks. The WHO is not only fighting to contain the coronavirus, it is also “battling the trolls and conspiracy theorists that push misinformation and undermine the outbreak response,” the organization said Saturday (Feb 8). France confirmed five new cases of the coronavirus, raising the country’s total to 11. All five new cases, one of whom is a child, are British nationals. Germany announced one new case of the virus, bringing the country’s total to 14. No other countries in the region have declared new cases of the coronavirus.

AMERICA: United States citizen has died from the coronavirus in Wuhan, China. They were the first foreign national to die from the virus. In the US, there are 12 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. Around 800 Americans, including US citizens, immediate family members and permanent legal residents, were repatriated from Wuhan and landed back in the US on Friday (Feb 7). Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that despite the US being “ready, willing and able” to go to China and help in the fight against the coronavirus, China has not yet invited the US’ help. The US said it would respect China’s decision-making process. Canada’s confirmed case count is at 7 cases. About 213 people, including Canadian citizens and their families, were evacuated from Wuhan and returned safely to Canada. All are being quarantined for 14 days.

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.

 

/TISG

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