WHO Warns “Countries Should Prepare For Local Outbreaks” As Pentagon Increases Quarantine Housing

Sunday, February 2, 2020
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
ZeroHedge.com
Sun, 02/02/2020

Summary:

14,550 confirmed cases worldwide, 19,544 suspected cases, 304 deaths, 2,110 in serious/critical condition, 328 in China treated and released; 138,000 under observation
First death outside China recorded in the Philippines
24 countries reporting cases
Philippines, New Zealand join list of countries several restricting travelers from China
* * *

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.

* * *

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?

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