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Wuhan Coronavirus Deaths Spike

Showing no signs of slowing, the death toll and the number of people infected by the novel coronavirus in Wuhan continues despite the population control methods and severe quarantine in China.

The number of confirmed cases globally on Sunday stood at 40,500 cases and China had more than 40000 infected cases. The death toll has reached 910 deaths so far, while just two deaths, one in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines, rest of the deaths are all in China.

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According to China’s state broadcaster CCTV, coronavirus has infected two newborn babies in Wuhan. Just at 30 hours old, the youngest baby was diagnosed. As the mother of the baby was also infected with the virus, “there might have been a mother-infant transmission.” There might have been the mother-infant transmission,” as the baby’s mother was also infected with the virus.

For all the people, including residents entering the semi-autonomous city from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong announced a mandatory 14-day quarantine. This move is to try and contain the virus after all but three border crossings were closed.

The city’s head authority said, “These measures are expected to further reduce the cross-boundary flow of people between the mainland and Hong Kong, this the risk of transmission and spread of the disease in the community is reduced.”

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Cruise ships quarantined

In Hong Kong, from Thursday morning, more than 3,600 passengers and crew were people stranded aboard a cruise ship after eight travelers from mainland China who were on the ship were tested positive for the virus. Three crew members had to be evacuated off the ship to receive treatment in hospital as 33 crew members showed symptoms of illness of varying degrees said Chuang Shuk-Kwan of the Department of Health. On Sunday, around 1,800 people were let out of the ship after all of them tested negative for the infection.

One of the world’s largest cruise operators, Royal Caribbean, said that through early March, it was canceling eight routes out of China. It said that boarding of any individual in the past 15 days, who has traveled from, to or through mainland China or Hong Kong will be denied.

In the Japanese port of Yokohama, south of Tokyo, another cruise ship remains docked. Out of the people on board the Diamond Princess, at least 20 people, including three from the US have tested positive for the virus so far. Since early Tuesday, at the Japanese harbor, this ship has been held.

For viral infections, typically norovirus, cruise ships can become hotbeds.

Where is Xi?

The stringent controls put in place in China to try and contain the virus may not be working as China reports at least three of its cities having more than a thousand cases each.

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The general secretary of the Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping has not appeared on front pages or in the nightly newscast on state broadcaster CCTV and has been missing in recent days, which is extremely unusual for the Chinese leader.

A China expert at the Wilson Center, Rui Zhong said, “To take the reins of the coronavirus fighting efforts, the central government may be still in an active process in gauging when it’s appropriate for Xi to appear.”

Methods of Treatments

On Tuesday, WHO, the World Health Organization urged governments not to impose travel and trade restrictions, even though many governments already have imposed restrictions due to the fear of the virus spreading.

During a briefing to the United Nations’ executive board in Geneva, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “To all the countries, we reiterate our call asking not to impose restrictions that unnecessarily interfere with international trade and travel. With just a little public health benefit, such restrictions can have the effect of increasing stigma and fear. We urge that they are short in duration where ever such measures have already been implemented.”

In order to bring the outbreak under control, he also called on member states to “facilitate rapid collaboration between the private and the public sectors to develop the vaccines, medicines, and diagnostics.”

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Globally, these efforts are underway with the slow progress on both vaccines and treatment methods. The one factor which makes this outbreak far scarier than similar bugs and seasonal influenza is the lack of both vaccines and treatment methods throughout this outbreak.

Treatment 71-year-old woman from China with the virus in Thailand treatment included treating her with a new combination of HIV and flu drugs after the doctors said that this cocktail was successful in treating a patient earlier. An update on the success of the treatment for the second patient has not yet been provided by the officials.

There are coronavirus hospitals built in just a few day’s time in China. These hospitals help to take the pressure off the severely stretched Wuhan healthcare system and it will handle only coronavirus patients.

“Nine days is the average time required for a patient to recover,” said the Chinese health officials. But currently, with there are more severe cases in Hubei province, the average recovery time is at 20 days. Due to a large number of cases and lack of hospital beds in Hubei, there are delays caused in the treatment and the death rate has been higher.

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