Coronavirus Update: Faster Diagnoses, Doctor Who Warned of Outbreak Dies from Virus

By Anna Breuer on 7 February 2020
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The death toll and number of infections from the Wuhan coronavirus continued to climb. Officials in China said that the number of confirmed cases is now 31,161, an increase of 3,100 new cases over the previous 24 hours.  The number who have died from the virus has risen by 70 to 636, although the actual figures could be higher.


02-07 China’s President Xi says that Beijing has “declared a people’s war” to defeat the deadly virus. “We have adopted the most comprehensive and strictest prevention and control measures,” China’s state broadcaster CCTV quoted him as saying in a telephone conversation.

02-07 Dr. Lin Wenliang, who was among the first to sound the alarm about the novel coronavirus, only to be silenced by the Chinese government, died Friday after becoming infected with the virus for which he was treating hundreds of patients. His death was reported by the Wuhan City Central Hospital, which said that he died at 3:48 a.m. local time. “We deeply regret and mourn this,” the hospital said in a post on Weibo.

02-07 The Anthem of the Sea, a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, docked in Bayonne, New Jersey at 6:10 a.m. with 27 Chinese nationals reportedly held in isolation in one of the ship’s restaurants, officials said. Four passengers were taken off the ship to University Hospital in New York for testing.  The other 23 passengers were interviewed and screened by CDC personnel. The CDC termed it a “below low risk” situation.

02-07 Over 2,000 people are stranded on the MS Westerdam, a Holland America cruise ship, after four countries refused to let it dock amidst coronavirus fears.  The ship has 1,455 passengers and 802 crew and the cruise line said in a statement that there are no suspected cases of the virus.  Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and the U.S. territory of Guam all have denied the ship permission to dock.

02-07 Although not confirmed by the Coronavirus Morning Newsbrief, multiple media reports indicate China is using drones as well as robots powered by artificial intelligence to fight the coronavirus outbreak.  The drones are reportedly keeping watch over people during the quarantine period.  Other reports indicate China is using AI-powered robots to assist overworked medical staff in areas heavily impacted by the outbreak.

02-06 The World Health Organization said it was concentrating on faster diagnoses.  In a statement, the WHO said that any efforts to control the spread of the virus “depend critically on the ability to detect the pathogen quickly.”

02-06 The U.S. State Department offered stranded Americans in Hubei a last chance for evacuation.  Two planes left Thursday night for the United States with approximately 400 people, including several Canadian citizens who were to be dropped off in Canada. The United States organized three flights over the past ten days that transported hundreds of Americans back to the States.

02-06 Laboratories in the United States and abroad will get a new test to diagnose the virus.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control announced plans to distribute the new test to 200 state laboratories and 200 located abroad. Hospitals and physicians will no longer have to send patient samples to an office of the CDC for testing.

02-06 Taiwan said it was no longer issuing visas to Hong Kong and Macau citizens after new figures were released on the spread of the coronavirus.

02-06 “Wartime conditions.” Chinese officials ordered local authorities in Wuhan to round up all residents who are infected with the coronavirus and place them in quarantine or a designated hospital.  City investigators will go to each home to take the temperature of each resident. “Set up a 24-hour duty system,” Sun Chunlan, the vice premier responsible for leading the government’s response to the outbreak. “During these wartime conditions, there must be no deserters, or they will be nailed to the pillar of historical shame forever.”

02-06 A new report showed that the United States continues to rely heavily on China for healthcare-related products.  This includes antidepressants, antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, and treatments for Alzheimer’s and HIV.  Perhaps somewhat ironically, the breathing masks that are most effective against the spread of the coronavirus are made in China.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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