The news on the coronavirus and its spread is coming fast since the weekend. The basic report is that the virus is spreading, but not yet at a pandemic rate. Infections are greater than the SARS outbreak of 2002-2003.
Chinese officials in Wuhan province are working on halting the spread of coronavirus but still refuse outside help, most prominently from the U.S. CDC. Reports of infections are up in this country.
Other developments include:
- Another case has been confirmed in the Bay Area of California by state health officials. As of Monday morning there were 6 cases in California, one in Arizona, one in Washington state, one in Massachusetts, and two in Illinois. The current infection rate in the U.S. is at 11. No American deaths as of yet.
- Two cases are suspected, but not yet confirmed, in New York City.
- The Chinese infection toll is at over 17,000, which is 99% of the cases across the globe. Deaths there have so far totaled over 360 and cases have tripled in the past week. 2,829 new cases have been diagnosed in the last 24 hours.
- The first death outside China was announced Sunday in the Philippines. Japan has 20 cases, Australia has 12, and 9 nations or regions are reporting double digit infection rates.
- American and other foreign public health officials have implored the Chinese government to let them assist, even remotely. Their pleas have been met with rejections.
- Hong Kong has closed most of its land crossings with mainland China. Only two bridges remain. 15 cases are reported in Hong Kong.
- The Chinese stock market is taking a hit because of the virus, with with the Shanghai Index falling by 8% on Monday. Stock prices for Chinese companies fell by 10%.
- Passengers arriving in Indonesia from flights originating in coronavirus epicenter Wuhan province are being decontaminated at the Batam airport before being taken to two weeks of mandatory quarantine at an Indonesian military base.
- The Chinese government accused the U.S. of “spreading panic” because Washington has evacuated American citizens and has restricted travel to China.This is a clumsy Chinese PR attempt to change the subject from persistent charges the outbreak resulted from a mishap at a biowarfare facility in Wuhan. It also seeks to distract from the refusal of China to accept international assistance.