Coronavirus Update: 20,000 Cases, China Admits ‘Shortcomings,’ Hong Kong Reports First Death, Tokyo Prepares for Olympics

By Paul Riegler on 4 February 2020
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Officials in China reported 20,438 confirmed cases as of Tuesday. The figure is roughly 15,000 more than the total reported during the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak, according to the World Health Organization. The death toll in China is 425, bringing the worldwide total to 427.


02-04 China’s Politburo Standing Committee admitted “shortcomings and deficiencies” in the country’s response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

02-04 Great Britain told its citizens “if you’re in China and able to leave, you should do so.”

02-04 Hong Kong reported the city’s first death due to the coronavirus.  A 39-year-old male patient died Tuesday morning at the Princess Margaret Hospital. The death was the second outside mainland China.  A Chinese man who was in the Philippines died from the virus on Sunday.

02-04 The mother of the man who died in Hong Kong may have caught the virus from her son.  The man’s wife and two children as well as a servant who worked for the family are being quarantined.

02-04 More infections outside China are being reported.  Six were reported in both Thailand and Singapore.

02-04 The unemployment rate in Hong Kong’s hotel industry could reach “up to 40%” as a result of the coronavirus and protests, the hotel industry there is saying. The industry employed 44,500 people at the end of 2019.

02-03 The U.S. Department of State told Americans who will remain in China to take certain precautions.  “We strongly urge U.S. citizens remaining in China to stay home as much as possible and limit contact with others, including large gatherings. Consider stocking up on food and other supplies to limit movement outside the home,” the department said.

02-03 China Eastern became the first major Chinese airline to suspend flights to the United States, citing “the recent public health incident.”  The airline told travel agents that flights were suspended through February 10.  China Eastern offers non-stop service from Shanghai to New York and Los Angeles.

02-03 Apple said it is temporarily closing all of its offices in China as well as the stores it hadn’t yet closed.  The move is not expected to affect Apple’s bottom line, but analysts expect the coronavirus to result in a 10% drop in iPhone shipments.

02-03 The New York City Lunar New Year Parade will go on as scheduled on February 9, despite increasing fears of the transmission of the novel coronavirus. “It’s really important in this moment where everyone is understandably worried about the coronavirus, we need to be factual, we need to be scientific, and we need to be calm,” said New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

02-03 Hawaiian Airlines is not allowing its crewmembers to wear face masks amidst concerns over the coronavirus. The airline’s flight attendant union termed the decision “unacceptable.”

02-03 Japan does not expect the coronavirus to adversely impact the Tokyo Olympics.  “We will respond appropriately,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to an opposition lawmaker, “while closely cooperating with the World Health Organization and other international organizations so that we can proceed with the preparations without letting it affect the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.” The Olympic Games are scheduled to begin on July 24.

02-03 Researchers are reporting that computer hackers are trying to exploit people’s fears of the coronavirus. They are sending spam e-mail messages with an attachment that supposedly has more information about the virus but will harvest the user’s personal information.

02-02 Health authorities in New York City said that three patients might have the novel coronavirus and are under observation and quarantine.  One patient had recently traveled to China and was taken on Friday to Bellevue Hospital Center. The two other patients are in separate hospitals in the Flushing area of the city.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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