3rd Patient Tested For Coronavirus In New York As Pandemic Kills 362, With 17,388 Infected: Live Updates

Summary:

  • There are currently 17,388 confirmed cases worldwide according to the latest data out of China's CDC, and 362 global fatalities
  • Two confirmed cases have been reported in San Benito County in Northern California
  • (including the first death outside of China, reported in the Philippines).
  • China’s central bank will pump 150 billion yuan ($21.7 billion) into markets, and has banned short selling on Monday to prevent a sell-off.
  • First death outside China recorded in the Philippines
  • 24 countries reporting cases
  • Philippines, New Zealand join list of countries several restricting travelers from China
  • 36 French citizens evacuated from Wuhan show coronavirus symptoms.

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Update (2145ET): The potential coronavirus infection count in New York City has risen to three: that is how many people are currently being tested for coronavirus, according to the Health Department cited by ABC. The Health Department reports the patient has been hospitalized in New York Presbyterian-Queens, and is in stable condition.

As we reported yesterday, late on Saturday a person under 40 years old, who had spent time in mainland China, arrived in the city on Thursday and called 911 on Friday after feeling symptoms. Then, early on Sunday, a 60-year-old who displayed fever symptoms and shortness of breath was hospitalized at Flushing Hopsital Medical Center.

Officials say the patient being tested for coronavirus in New York City did everything right, and if that patient tests positive, the health department is ready to react.

"The symptoms were fever, cough and a runny nose. Like that simple. And they did the right thing for everybody else by coming in and getting care," said NYC Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot, who added that an ambulance brought the patient to Bellevue Hospital.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the patient did "exactly as they should have" by following the guidelines that New York City put out.

"Our radar's always set high, so we can screen these patients to stop it from affecting other people," said Patricia Tennill of Bellevue Hospital.

Officials report the testing will take 36-48 hours and depends on CDC testing capacity. The patient is currently stable.

* * *

Update (1935ET): A second person is now under observation for coronavirus in New York City according to PIX11 News. The individual, hospitalized at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, is over 60 years old and is reportedly in stable condition.

Meanwhile, two confirmed cases were reported in Northern San Benito County located in northern California, a husband and wife who are both 57 years old. The husband recently traveled to Wuhan, China while the wife has not. Neither have left their home since the husband returned.

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Update (1900ET): According to the latest daily update from the Chinese CDC, there are now 17,205 confirmed cases across China, a jump of 2,829 overnight - the biggest daily increase since the epidemic started - with another 181 cases abroad. Global fatalities increased to 362, with the daily increase of 58 also the biggest since the pandemic started, although as noted previously, China has been resorting to various measures to mask and hide the true number of corona casualties. The number of cured or discharged patients rose to 475.

Unfortunately, the disease does not appears to be slowing down, and the number of suspected cases increased by 2,004 to 21,558, while the number of people receiving medical observations surged to a record 152,700, an increase of 15,106 overnight.

* * *

Update (1700ET): Santa Clara County health officials on Sunday afternoon have confirmed a second coronavirus case, reported KRON 4 News. Officials said this is unrelated to the first case that was confirmed on Friday.

The confirmed case is a woman who recently traveled to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak. Officials have so far said, she arrived in the U.S. on Jan. 23 to visit family during the Chinese New Year.

Officials are unclear on her exact movements and how many people she could have infected. Her family was also quarantined on concerns they have contracted the deadly virus. The first case was confirmed in Santa Clara County on Friday, was a man who recently traveled to Wuhan. 

This is the ninth confirmed case in the U.S., with cases expected to rise in the days and or weeks ahead. 

And earlier on Sunday, The New York Times sparked more fears when it said that the coronavirus "looks increasingly like a pandemic…"

"It's very, very transmissible, and it almost certainly is going to be a pandemic," said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. "But will it be catastrophic? I don't know."

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Update (1500ET): According to AFP, 20 French citizens evacuated from Wuhan, China have symptoms of Coronavirus. Earlier in the day, officials said that when the flight left Wuhan, none of the passengers had symptoms of coronavirus. They include French, Belgians, Dutch, Danes, Czechs, Slovaks and some citizens of African countries, the Associated Press reported. The happens as around 500 people, including hospital staff, form a human chain in front of the Robert Debré Hospital in Paris to denounce a lack of resources in French public hospitals.

Meanwhile, WBZ reports that two plans from Wuhan landed at Boston's Logan airport just hours before the nationwide travel ban on flights landing from China is set to begin.

At the same time, half way across the world, Beijing has reported that between Feb 1 and Feb 2, at least 23 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed, the biggest increase to date, bringint the total number to 191.

In other news, according to an unconfirmed report citing TV Peru, a 72-year-old Peruvian woman died from coronavirus in Los Angeles, and his body was repatriated to Peru. According to the death certificate, the cause of his death is the deadly virus of Chinese origin that triggered pneumonia and other complications in his health.

According to the doctor Marco Almeri, the transfer of the body will not generate any type of epidemic. “When a body dies it changes the temperature and all the chemical conditions. Therefore, it is impossible for the virus to survive, ”he told TV Peru.

AS previously reported, US flights carrying citizens who visited China will be redirected to one of seven international airports to be screened for possible coronavirus symptoms, as part of new restrictions to stem the outbreak. Flights will only land in Atlanta, Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Seattle, the DHS said. Once on the ground, passengers will be subject to enhanced health screening.

Finally, according to Reuters, Russian railways has suspended passenger trains to China as the entire world gradually implement a Chinese quarantine.

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Update (1100ET): In a report that has since been deleted from the Chinese Internet, Chinese media company Caijing reported that many deaths and suspected cases of the virus haven't been counted due to intentional mislabeling, according to Bloomberg.

Many people suspected of being sick with the coronavirus in Wuhan aren’t being counted as having been infected, and some suspicious deaths haven’t been checked and included in the death toll due to a shortage of tests, according to Caijing, a Chinese media company. The Saturday report was deleted from the internet Sunday. The deaths were recorded as due to viral pneumonia and not pneumonia caused by the coronavirus, Caijing wrote.

An unidentified doctor from a Wuhan hospital designated for coronavirus treatment said that they have admitted about 600 severe cases, but none of these patients were confirmed as having coronavirus due to a lack of tests.

Meanwhile, there are whispers that the regime is quietly cremating the bodies of some deceased patients to hide them from the official death toll.

Hong Kong's executive council has also reportedly hinted at tighter travel curbs.

A Hong Kong executive council member said that residents should avoid traveling to the mainland or risk having difficulties returning to the city, according to an RTHK report, a sign the government could ramp up border control restrictions. Lam Ching-choi said on Sunday that possible measures include shortening opening times for ports, limiting transportation and introducing laws to curb cross border traffic, the report said.

This after health-care workers threatened to strike if the city refused to shut down travel to Beijing.

* * *

Local officials in Hubei weren't kidding when they warned that Saturday would be the worst day so far for confirmed cases/deaths related to the coronavirus outbreak. China's body count climbed above 300, and the first death outside the mainland was recorded in the Philippines. Scientists predict that exponentially more cases are active in China, but the true number either haven't yet been diagnosed, or the Chinese government is simply suppressing it for obvious PR purposes. Anecdotal reports also claim the death toll is higher than the 304+.

Even though the man who died in Manila was from Wuhan, now that the virus has proved lethal outside the confines of China's deeply overburdened health-care system, even more countries have decided to defy the WHO and restrict entry for travelers from China. New Zealand, Iraq, Indonesia and the Philippines have joined the growing list of countries - including the US, Japan, Australia, Canada, Taiwan, etc. - who are imposing travel restrictions on people who have either recently been to China, or recently traveled to Hubei Province (or if they have a passport from Hubei).

"This is the first reported death outside China," Rabindra Abeyasinghe, the World Health Organisation representative to the Philippines, said.

But that wasn't all we heard from the WHO on Sunday. The organization, which just declared the outbreak a dangerous global pandemic, warned governments around the world to prepare for controlling domestic outbreaks.

"Countries need to get ready for possible importation in order to identify cases as early as possible and in order to be ready for a domestic outbreak control, if that happens," WHO official Gauden Galea told The Associated Press in Bejing on Saturday.

Though the virus is the enemy, the people who carry it are also often treated with suspicion during outbreaks, and it appears this trend has finally peaked both inside and outside China. Two days ago, the New York Times published a story documenting what it described as 'growing xenophobia' in Japan, directed at Chinese whom locals feared might carry the virus. Inside China, videos have shown mobs surrounding families from Hubei. Government propaganda has directed a large swath of the country to stay inside until the outbreak subsides. It could be weeks before that happened. Businesses inside China have posted signs warning people from Hubei to stay away; in Japan and Hong Kong, signs are directed at all mainlanders.

Across China, the total number of cases under observation is now a whopping 137,594, an increase of over 19,000 from 118,478.

Outside China, the WHO reports roughly 130 confirmed cases of the virus in more than 20 countries outside of China and Taiwan. The Philippines reported the first death attributable to the virus outside of China. Other tallies put the number of confirmed cases outside China higher. Late Saturday in the US, new cases were confirmed in South Korea and India.

Chinese doctors are now claiming that the virus can be spread via fecal matter, as well as droplets passed through the air.

Expecting a bloodbath when markets open tomorrow (late Sunday evening in the US), Chinese financial regulators have already announced a massive $173 billion (Rmb1.2 trillion) support package. According to the FT, China’s central bank said on Sunday that it would provide the lending facilities to money markets as stock markets reopen following the LNY extended holiday, during which western markets logged heavy selling. Hong Kong markets also took a beating when they reopened for the second half of the week. BBG noted that the sum will come to $21 billion on a net basis, practically nothing, after covering the roll of previous liquidity injections.

The Huoshenshan Hospital, one of two hospitals being rapidly constructed in Wuhan, has finished construction, according to Chinese state media. It will begin admitting coronavirus patients on Monday, hopefully relieving some of the overwhelming burden on the city's existing medical infrastructure. The Global Times reported that the hospital will be run by Huawei's "remote consultation platform" which will improve efficiency. Nearly 2,000 PLA personnel are reportedly being dispatched to run a hospital that reportedly has been outfitted with what appear to be jail cells.

Across China, typically busy streets are empty. Several pointed out the eerie silence in one of the most popular nightlife neighborhoods in Beijing.

When it's all said and done, economists inside and outside China have warned that the outbreak could shave a percentage point or more off of GDP, potentially pushing the rate of growth below 5% - not that many economists trust the Chinese data anyway.

Back in the US, the country is waiting with baited breath to see whether a suspected 9th case of the virus - this time, in NYC - will be confirmed. The Pentagon recently approved a request for quarantine housing for 1,000 people, according to Epoch Times.

Across the world, dozens of airlines have suspended flights to and from China, some as far out as April.

Does that sound like everything is under control to you?