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The Covid-19 Thread: News, Preparation Tips, Etc

Black Ambrosia

Well-Known Member
United States reports 15th case of coronavirus after a person under quarantine tests positive

The Centers for Disease Control said on Thursday that a person under quarantine at a military base in San Antonio had tested positive for the virus, bringing the number of confirmed coronavirus patients in the United States to 15.

The person, who was not identified, arrived at the base last week on a State Department-chartered flight and is now being treated in isolation at a hospital in the area.

The patient is the third person under quarantine to test positive, joining two people at a base in San Diego who were confirmed to have the virus this week. In its statement announcing the case, the C.D.C. said that there would likely be more cases over the next few days and weeks.

More than 600 people who left Wuhan after the outbreak began remain under required quarantine at military bases in the United States.

Black Ambrosia

Well-Known Member
Number of cases in Hubei Province soars with new diagnostic methods

The number of people confirmed to have the coronavirus in Hubei Province skyrocketed by 14,840 cases, to 48,206, the government said on Thursday, setting a new daily record. The announcement came after the authorities changed the diagnostic criteria for counting new cases.

Nationally, the new figures propelled the total number of coronavirus cases in China to 59,805 and the death toll to 1,367. The jump in new cases puts extra pressure on the government to treat thousands of patients, many of whom are in mass quarantine centers or in isolation facilities.

The sudden uptick is a result of the government including cases diagnosed in clinical settings, including with the use of CT scans, along with those confirmed with specialized testing kits.

After the sudden change, epidemiologists warned that the true picture of the epidemic is muddled, since accurately tracking cases can tell experts the number, location and speed at which new infections are occurring.

Health experts said the change in reporting was meant to provide a more accurate view of the transmissibility of the virus. The new criteria is intended to give doctors broader discretion to diagnose patients, and more crucially, isolate patients to quickly treat them.

Previously, infections were confirmed only with a positive result from a nucleic acid test. But a government expert said those tests were about 30 to 40 percent accurate. There is also a shortage of testing kits, and the results of these tests take at least two days.

Because hospitals were overstretched and lacked testing kits, many infected patients were told to go home rather than be isolated and undergo treatment.

Many patients displaying symptoms of the coronavirus have complained that they had to wait days, and even weeks, to be tested and receive treatment. Others, including the recently deceased whistle-blower Dr. Li Wenliang, said they had to be tested four or five times before the tests showed a positive result.

Black Ambrosia

Well-Known Member
A second resident reporting inside Wuhan has disappeared

A video blogger in the city of Wuhan who had been documenting conditions at overcrowded hospitals at the heart of the outbreak has disappeared, raising concerns among his supporters that he may have been detained by the authorities.

The blogger, Fang Bin, is the second citizen journalist in the city to have gone missing in a week after criticizing the government’s response to the coronavirus epidemic. The disappearances come as Chinese authorities have clamped down on the news media and the internet in an effort to control the narrative about the escalating crisis.

Mr. Fang began posting videos from hospitals in Wuhan on YouTube last month, including one that showed a pile of body bags in a minibus. In early February, Mr. Fang said in a video message that he had been briefly detained and questioned. A few days later, he filmed an exchange he had with strangers who showed up at his apartment claiming to bring him food.

Mr. Fang’s last video, posted on Sunday, was a message written on a piece of paper: “All citizens resist, hand power back to the people.”

Gao Fei, a resident of a neighboring city who is part of a chat group formed by Mr. Fang on WeChat, the Chinese social media app, said he heard from another member of the group that Mr. Fang was taken away from his apartment by plainclothes officers on Monday. The account could not immediately be verified.

Last week, Chen Qiushi, a citizen journalist and lawyer in Wuhan who recorded the plight of patients and the shortage of hospital supplies, vanished, according to his friends.
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Well-Known Member
At first I was skeptical but the continuing disappearances makes me think it really is worse than China is saying. These citizen journalists can’t be the only ones badmouthing the situation but they’re some of the only ones honestly documenting how terrible it is.


Well-Known Member
I have to keep in mind that China is the most populous country in the entire world. :yep:
This chart is interesting.... or am I reading it wrong? Population control?? :look:

View attachment 455637

You are reading the chart correctly, that is why China ended the one child policy a couple of years ago. Japan and Europe are having similar issues, due to people not having enough children.
The chart is right. I've also read stats on the issue as @Queenie said.

Not surprised with China. Think about it.... It takes two people (male and female) to create child. If all you are allowed to have is one child plus the added fact of baby gender discrimination (aborting or throwing away baby girls) at some point the population growth is going to decline.


Cancer Support in Health
I find it interesting that they keep saying December in these recent news reports.

In November, a group iMessage I was invited to this article was sent. You can see the date of the article is 11/13/2019 and I received the message the same day.

Group member: “The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said on Weibo, the microblogging site, that there was no need for Beijing residents to panic and that the risks of further transmission are ‘extremely low.’” I hope so, and also know that’s what the Russians said about the impact of Chernobyl.

My response: Exactly. I read the article and they were from the country and got treatment in the city. Supposedly, everyone they came in contact they know who they were and they are okay. I don’t believe a word.


Black Ambrosia

Well-Known Member
Trading quarantines, Americans from cruise land in US

Two charter flights carrying cruise ship passengers from Japan landed at military bases in California and Texas overnight, starting the clock on a quarantine period to ensure passengers don't have the new virus that's been spreading in Asia.

A plane carrying American passengers touched down at Travis Air Force Base in Northern California just before 11:30 p.m. Sunday, local time. A second flight arrived at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas around 2 1/2 hours later, early Monday.

Japan's Defense Minister Taro Kono had tweeted earlier that Japanese troops helped transport 340 U.S. passengers on 14 buses from Yokohama port to Tokyo's Haneda airport. About 380 Americans were on the cruise ship.

The U.S. said it arranged the evacuation because people on the Diamond Princess were at a high risk of exposure to the virus. For the departing Americans, the evacuation cuts short a 14-day quarantine that began aboard the cruise ship Feb. 5.

The State Department announced later that 14 of the evacuees received confirmed they had the virus but were allowed to board the flight because they did not have symptoms. They were being isolated separately from other passengers on the flight, the U.S. State and Health and Human Services said in a joint statement.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, said Sunday that an infected person who shows minimal symptoms could still pass the virus to someone else.

After arriving in the U.S., all of the passengers must go through another 14 days of quarantine at the military facilities — meaning they will have been under quarantine for a total of nearly four weeks.

Australia, Canada, Hong Kong and Italy were planning similar flights of passengers. Other governments, including Canada and Hong Kong, also will require the passengers to undergo a second 14-day quarantine.

Japan on Monday announced another 99 infections on the Diamond Princess, raising the ship's total number of cases to 454. Overall, Japan has 419 confirmed cases of the virus, including one death. The United States has confirmed 15 cases within the country. Separately, one U.S. citizen died in China.

Americans Cheryl and Paul Molesky, a couple from Syracuse, New York, opted to trade one coronavirus quarantine for another, leaving the cruise ship to fly back to the U.S. Cheryl Molesky said the rising number of patients on the ship factored into the decision.

"We are glad to be going home,” Cheryl Molesky earlier told NHK TV in Japan. “It’s just a little bit disappointing that we’ll have to go through quarantine again, and we will probably not be as comfortable as the Diamond Princess, possibly.”

She sent The Associated Press a video of her and her husband boarding the plane with other Americans.

“Well, we're exhausted, but we're on the plane and that's a good feeling. Pretty miserable wearing these masks though, and everybody had to go to the bathroom on the bus,” she said.

Some American passengers said they would pass up the opportunity to fly to the United States because of the additional quarantine. There also was worry about being on a long flight with other passengers who may be infected or in an incubation period.

One of the Americans, Matthew Smith, said in a tweet Sunday that he saw a passenger with no face mask talking at close quarters with another passenger. He said he and his wife scurried away.

“If there are secondary infections on board, this is why,” he said. "And you wanted me to get on a bus with her?”

He said the American health officials who visited their room was apparently surprised that the couple had decided to stay, and wished them luck.

“Thanks, but we’re fine,” Smith said he told them.


Well-Known Member
You are reading the chart correctly, that is why China ended the one child policy a couple of years ago. Japan and Europe are having similar issues, due to people not having enough children.

Even with the band lifted the average family is still only having one child, the government had actually beginning encouraging folk to have more children it seems like people just aren't interested.


Well-Known Member
OK..this is sickening, no pun intended.... I'm not sure to the validity of this woman's health but the idea of someone doing this - anywhere - isn't far-fetched. I'll take the stairs!

I know Zombie movies are fiction, but ometimes I wonder if there are viruses or something that can compel you to spread them from host to host. Not in the traditional way of coughs, but stuff like this.

I'm carrying wet wipes everywhere in addition to hand sanitizer.


Well-Known Member
More preventative from a source I respect.... I use the bolded

From another source that I trust (I take the bolded):

Vitamin C: 3,000 milligrams (or more) daily, in divided doses.
Vitamin D3: 2,000 International Units daily. (Start with 5,000 IU/day for two weeks, then reduce to 2,000)
Magnesium: 400 mg daily (in malate, chelate, or chloride form)
Zinc: 20 mg daily
Selenium: 100 mcg (micrograms) daily
I need to be more consistent with the D and Zinc ---- I really saw a difference when I started with Selenium...

Black Ambrosia

Well-Known Member
Hilton Temporarily Closes 150 Chinese Hotels Due To Coronavirus
Grant Martin

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. signage is displayed outside of a hotel on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016.

Virginia-based Hilton is keeping at least 150 hotels in China closed amidst growing concern over the novel coronavirus. In its 2019 Q4 earnings call last week, Christopher J. Nassetta, President, Chief Executive Officer & Director, Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Inc said that “it goes without saying that the safety and well -being of our team members and our guests remain a paramount priority, as we continue to carefully monitor the situation.”

So far, 150 Hilton hotels across China have been closed due to lack of demand and concerns over the virus spreading in public places.
The 150 hotels represent 30,000 rooms and only around 2.5% of Hilton’s properties worldwide. Altogether, Hilton owns or manages around 6,000 properties across 18 brands in 117 countries.

On the earnings call, Nassetta suggested that the hotel closures would only have a minor effect on the company’s annual performance. “We would expect roughly a half a point impact to net unit growth, which would be largely within our guidance range, and a $25 million to $50 million impact to full year adjusted EBITDA,” said Nassetta on the call. The executive remained positive, also mentioning that “we would expect flat to 1% RevPAR growth for the full year.”

According to Business Insider, Hilton currently operates 225 hotels in greater China; the closure of 150 of its hotels represents an impact on two thirds of the country’s properties but is still a drop in the bucket compared to the company’s worldwide holdings.

Hilton may be one of the first hotels to take company-wide measures to shut down hotels, but it likely won’t be the last. Late in January, Marriott, one of Hilton’s chief competitors, announced that it would start waiving change fees for travelers with reservations in China. Hilton has a similar waiver in place and Marriott’s Q4 earnings call is scheduled for February 27th. Hyatt, another competitor, reports earnings on February 19th.

Airlines, on the other hand, are far ahead of the hotel industry in tapering service as a function of the novel coronavirus. Already, American, Delta and United have canceled to service to China and many of its administrative regions through April.

As the year takes shape, many expect that the novel coronavirus will have a prolonged effect on both leisure and business through the region and the companies supporting the respective industries. Already, Bloomberg reports that 75% of trips to the region have been canceled through February and March. As the epidemic runs its course, companies across the full spectrum of the travel industry may need to prepare for softer business — even through 2021.


Well-Known Member
Already, Bloomberg reports that 75% of trips to the region have been canceled through February and March. As the epidemic runs its course, companies across the full spectrum of the travel industry may need to prepare for softer business — even through 2021.
With the exception of a few work trips that cant be canceled, none of which are to China, everyone I know has canceled pretty much all trips to any Asian countries. Its probably good time to travel to that part of the world on the cheap, tho. Lol

We have tentative plans to spend a month traveling around Asia Fall 2021. We will not be considering China though.

Black Ambrosia

Well-Known Member
Coronavirus-infected Americans flown home against CDC’s advice

Spencer Fehrenbacher, 29, takes a photo on a State Department-chartered airplane about to depart from Japan. (Spencer Fehrenbacher)

In the wee hours of a rainy Monday, more than a dozen buses sat on the tarmac at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. Inside, 328 weary Americans wearing surgical masks and gloves waited anxiously to fly home after weeks in quarantine aboard the Diamond Princess, the luxury liner where the novel coronavirus had exploded into a shipwide epidemic.

But as the buses idled, U.S. officials wrestled with troubling news. New test results showed that 14 passengers were infected with the virus. The U.S. State Department had promised that no one with the infection would be allowed to board the planes.

A decision had to be made. Let them all fly? Or leave them behind in Japanese hospitals?

In Washington, where it was still Sunday afternoon, a fierce debate broke out: The State Department and a top Trump administration health official wanted to forge ahead. The infected passengers had no symptoms and could be segregated on the plane in a plastic-lined enclosure. But officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention disagreed, contending they could still spread the virus. The CDC believed the 14 should not be flown back with uninfected passengers.

“It was like the worst nightmare,” said a senior U.S. official involved in the decision, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations. “Quite frankly, the alternative could have been pulling grandma out in the pouring rain, and that would have been bad, too.”

The State Department won the argument. But unhappy CDC officials demanded to be left out of the news release that explained that infected people were being flown back to the United States — a move that would nearly double the number of known coronavirus cases in this country.

The tarmac decision was a pivotal moment for U.S. officials improvising their response to a crisis with few precedents and extraordinarily high stakes. Efforts to prevent the new pathogen from spreading have revealed the limits of the world’s readiness for an unprecedented public health emergency. In the worst-case scenario, covid-19, a flulike respiratory infection, could become a full-blown global pandemic.

Navigating the crisis has required delicate medical and political judgments. The decision to evacuate the Americans from the Diamond Princess came only after infections on the cruise ship spiked and passengers revealed their grim living conditions.

One lesson from that debacle is that cruise ships are like petri dishes.Thousands live in close quarters on a vessel never designed for quarantines. The crew continued to deliver food, and health workers moved throughout the ship. More than 600 of the 3,700 passengers and crew members have now tested positive for the virus and two older Japanese passengers have died.

With Japanese authorities isolating the passengers for weeks off the coast, the ship, operated by Princess Cruises, quickly developed the second-largest number of coronavirus cases on the planet outside of China — more than in Japan, Singapore, Thailand, the United States or all of Europe. Avoiding “another China” has been the goal of the World Health Organization for weeks, and then it happened anyway, in Yokohama harbor.

The treatment of the Diamond Princess passengers stands in stark contrast to what happened to those on another cruise ship, the Westerdam, who were greeted by the Cambodian prime minister with handshakes and flowers, and who later traveled widely. Only later did news come that one of the Westerdam passengers had tested positive for the virus.

That situation spurred fears that Westerdam passengers would spread the virus around the world. But no additional passengers have tested positive, and so far, no evidence has emerged they have widely seeded the virus.

The coronavirus (officially, SARS-CoV-2) is extremely contagious. Experts estimate that without protective measures, every infected person will spread it to an average of slightly more than two additional people. The disease has beenfatal in roughly two out of 100 confirmed cases.

Travelers have already spread it to more than two dozen countries, where it has infected more than 75,000 people and killed more than 2,000.

'The knock of doom'

The Diamond Princess left Yokohama for a 15-day cruise on Jan. 20. One man from Hong Kong left the ship when it docked there five days later, and checked into a hospital. On Feb. 1, officials confirmed he was infected with the coronavirus.

Spencer Fehrenbacher, 29, an American studying for his master’s degree in China, signed up for the cruise with friends as a break between semesters. Just a couple of days in, they became alarmed about reports of the virus spreading in China.

In Vietnam, he came down with a fever. It lasted only 24 hours, but he feared he might have the virus. He decided not to get off at the next two stops, in Taipei and Okinawa, because he was afraid he’d wind up quarantined.

The ship sped back to Yokohama and docked Feb. 3. Japanese authorities told passengers they could not leave.

The next day, they mingled onboard. Many ate a buffet dinner, but the casino was closed and the evening show canceled. That night, the captain ordered passengers to return to their cabins and stay there until quarantine officers came to see them.

Over the next several days, test results trickled in: Dozens had become infected. Fehrenbacher kept fearing the worst.

“I was sitting there all day waiting for what I call the knock of doom on the door,” he said.

Fehrenbacher stayed in his room — every day, all day. He had a balcony and that was good enough. He started using the word “optimistic” when he spoke to friends and family, because “positive” carried a bad connotation.

He recorded a video and sent it to his brother to share with his family in case he was hospitalized and unable to communicate, or even died. “Mom, Dad, I love you, I miss you. I’m sure everything will be okay,” he recalled saying.

Five days after the ship reached port, the CDC wrote a letter to the American passengers saying that “remaining in your room is the safest option to minimize your risk of infection,” and adding, “We acknowledge that this situation is difficult.”

For nearly two weeks, the only way off the Diamond Princess was through illness, and a ride by ambulance to further isolation in a hospital.

Complaint to a congressman tips the balance

For some, the difficult situation became dire. By the score, people tested positive. Some 200 passengers were over the age of 80, at much higher risk of complications from the virus. The crew members, meanwhile, were forced to stay at their jobs.

“Obviously, the situation on the ground changed, and clearly there’s been more transmission than expected on the ship,” said Michael Ryan, a WHO executive director for health emergencies. “It’s very easy in retrospect to make judgments on public health decisions made at a certain point.”

On Feb. 12, U.S. officials briefed members of Congress in a closed-door hearing. Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), a doctor, had also heard from a friend and fellow doctor, Arnold Hopland, of Elizabethton, Tenn., who was on the ship with his wife, Jeanie. Hopland told Roe about the deteriorating conditions.

“That tipped the balance,” said the senior administration official.

By Friday afternoon in Washington, there was agreement among all the agencies in the U.S. coronavirus task force to evacuate the Americans.

The State Department, through the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, posted an urgent notice to U.S. citizens: Americans who wanted to leave needed to let the embassy know by 10 a.m. Saturday local time in Tokyo.

In all, 328 Americans disembarked from the ship in the early hours of Monday, Tokyo time. They boarded buses — and then were forced to wait, in the port, for more than two hours, according to two passengers. They couldn’t see out of the buses — the windows were covered.

Some began crying because they needed to use the bathroom, said Vana Mendizabal, 69, of Crystal River, Fla. The retired nurse had taken the cruise with her husband, Mario, 75, a physician.

“We just couldn’t understand why we were sitting there, loaded, and not going anywhere,” she said. “And we couldn’t get any answers.”

Eventually the buses arrived at the airport, and once again, everyone waited while top officials in Washington argued about the test results, according to a senior administration official.

“Nobody anticipated getting these results,” said another U.S. official involved in the evacuation.

During one call, the CDC’s principal deputy director, Anne Schuchat, argued against taking the infected Americans on the plane, according to two participants. She noted the U.S. government had already told passengers they would not be evacuated with anyone who was infected or who showed symptoms. She was also concerned about infection control.

Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who was also on the calls, recalled saying her points were valid and should be considered.

But Robert Kadlec, assistant secretary for preparedness and response for the Department of Health and Human Services and a member of the coronavirus task force, pushed back: Officials had already prepared the plane to handle passengers who might develop symptoms on the long flight, he argued. The two Boeing 747s had 18 seats cordoned off with 10-foot-high plastic on all four sides. Infectious disease doctors would also be onboard.

“We felt like we had very experienced hands in evaluating and caring for these patients,” Kadlec said at a news briefing Monday.

The State Department made the call. The 14 people were already in the evacuation pipeline and protocol dictated they be brought home, said William Walters, director of operational medicine for the State Department.

As the State Department drafted its news release, the CDC’s top officials insisted that any mention of the agency be removed.

“CDC did weigh in on this and explicitly recommended against it,” Schuchat wrote on behalf of the officials, according to an HHS official who saw the email and shared the language. “We should not be mentioned as having been consulted as it begs the question of what was our advice.”

She wrote that the infected passengers could pose “an increased risk to the other passengers.”

Schuchat declined to comment.

About an hour before the planes landed in California and Texas, the State Department revealed that the 14 evacuees had tested positive and did not mention the CDC.

Mendizabal, the retired nurse, said she learned about the infections only when she landed at Travis Air Force Base in California and talked to one of her five children, who had seen a news report.

“We were upset that people were knowingly put on the plane who were positive,” she said Wednesday in an interview from the military base. She said she and her husband had already completed 12 days of quarantine on the ship and both were healthy.

“I think those people should not have been allowed on the plane,” Mendizabal said. “They should have been transferred to medical facilities in Japan. We feel we were re-exposed. We were very upset about that.”

After the planes landed, the infected passengers were retested. On Thursday, the CDC confirmed that 11 were indeed positive and two tested negative. One passenger is still awaiting results.

Scientists are still trying to understand the virus. Some of its features, such as how long it can live on surfaces, are unknown. But experts say it is mainly spread by respiratory droplets produced by coughs and sneezes from an infected person. That person must be in close contact, usually defined as six feet.

“We still don’t have a good understanding of the risk posed by people who are infected but without symptoms,” said Jeffrey Duchin, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Washington.

Another ship gets a warm reception

Thousands of miles away, a different scene was playing out in Cambodia.

The Westerdam, a luxurious Holland America Line ship with 2,257 passengers and crew, spent days searching for a port amid fears that it might have infected passengers aboard — even though there was no evidence of it. The ship was turned away from five ports, including Guam.

The Westerdam finally was embraced Feb. 13 by Cambodia, a nation with close ties to China and whose authoritarian prime minister, Hun Sen, has used the coronavirus crisis to advance his country’s political interests.

Having lost a preferential trade arrangement with the European Union over human rights abuses, Hun Sen used the Westerdam as a vehicle to alter headlines and potentially improve relations with the West.

When the ship sailed into Sihanoukville last Thursday, he rolled out the red carpet. Without any protective gear — not even a mask or gloves — he greeted passengers as they disembarked, shaking their hands as he passed out bouquets of flowers.

U.S. Ambassador W. Patrick Murphy also went to the dock with his family to welcome passengers. Murphy wore no face mask or gloves, and maintained little distance between himself and jubilant, relieved passengers.

They filed off and dispersed to hotels, hundreds to the luxury Sokha in Phnom Penh, a little more than 100 miles away. There, some went out to dinner, assured by Cambodia and cruise ship officials that among the 20 people who were tested for the virus, none was positive. Others took a bus tour.

More than 700 headed for the airport and flights to homes around the world.

Then came startling news. On Saturday night, an 83-year-old American woman, as yet unidentified, tested positive for coronavirus in Malaysia. Her husband, who also has symptoms of the respiratory illness, tested negative.

Suddenly, as if flash-frozen, the exodus from the Westerdam halted. Hundreds of passengers and crew were ordered to remain onboard. Others retreated to the Sokha hotel, where they were asked to stay in their rooms — a request some ignored, said Christina Kerby, 41, of Alameda, Calif., who had taken the cruise with her mother.

Kerby had spent Saturday relaxing at the hotel. She went for a swim, then out to dinner, publishing photos of her meal on Twitter for followers who had been tracking her ordeal over the previous two weeks.

“It was my afternoon to relax before a long trip home,” she said.

Kerby has received blowback on Twitter for going out in Phnom Penh. Back home in Alameda, her children’s preschool asked whether she might endanger other kids when she returns. The stigma of the virus is a new feeling, she said.

On Sunday, she awoke to find a note slipped under her door asking that she stay in her room.

“That, for me, was the moment I lost it,” said Kerby, who had been relentlessly optimistic during her cruise ship confinement. “As Americans, we’re very used to having agency over our own bodies and being able to come and go as we pleased.”

Now, health experts say, there is little to do but wait and see whether the Westerdam passengers spread the virus around the world. Some are skeptical they will see that, suggesting the single positive test result may have been erroneous.

“You would assume if one person got infected on any cruise, you would have a mini-outbreak,” said one U.S. official involved in the response. “Maybe she wasn’t positive.”

Based on what is known so far, Cambodia’s approach is preferable to quarantining people aboard a ship where the virus is spreading, said Saskia V. Popescu, senior infection prevention epidemiologist for HonorHealth, a hospital system in Phoenix.

But that requires educating passengers about reporting symptoms and self-isolating if necessary, and having public health authorities in home countries closely monitor those who have returned. It includes quickly tracing the contacts of anyone who develops the infection.

“I think we can say if you’re going to quarantine people, doing it on a cruise ship is not the best place,” Popescu said.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Phay Siphan, the Cambodian government spokesman, expressed no regrets on the handling of the Westerdam and its passengers.

“The ship was abandoned by the Earth,” he said. “We understood their predicament, and we knew we had to help them.”

A struggle to get home

Christina Kerby initially struggled to find a flight home from Cambodia.

“It literally is minute by minute over here,” she said Wednesday. “One minute, they think they have an agreement with a country to let us through and the next, people are being held at the airport.” She arrived in San Francisco on Thursday.

Fehrenbacher, the graduate student, described his room at Travis Air Force Base as surprisingly spacious. He was told that for 48 hours, he could not leave the room. To receive a meal from uniformed personnel, he must first put on a mask. He has never tested positive for the virus.

“I’m just trying to stay hydrated and optimistic about what the next 12 days are going to look like,” he said.

In Japan, meanwhile, the Diamond Princess is finally being vacated. On Wednesday, Japan released 443 people from the ship, saying they had completed their 14-day quarantines. Scores of its passengers, about 40 of them Americans, remain hospitalized with the infection.

On Thursday, the State Department urged U.S. citizens to reconsider cruise ship travel to or within East Asia and the Asia-Pacific region.

Black Ambrosia

Well-Known Member
Judge temporarily halts transfer of coronavirus patients to quarantine facility in California city
Costa Mesa, California, took legal action to prevent the transfer.
ABC News

A city in California won a battle against the state Friday, at least temporarily, when a judge halted the transfer of people diagnosed with the coronavirus to its community for a quarantine site.

Costa Mesa, California, filed a legal action after it learned federal officials planned to use its Fairview Development Center to house and quarantine several patients who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

The city said it was given little notice, and without input, about the plan.

"We have received no information regarding how the facility will be prepared, what precautions will be taken to protect those in the facility as well as those who live nearby, and other important planning measures," Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley said in a statement.

Judge Josephine Staton, according to the city, issued the temporary restraining order late Friday night. An expedited hearing is expected to be held Monday afternoon.

Foley said the planned quarantine facility is adjacent to several residential neighborhoods and she and the Costa Mesa City Council were concerned about the safety of residents.

"Our top priority is the safety and security of this community and those who live in this region," she said.

The city filed the injunction largely because it says it was excluded from the process and hopes to have a dialogue with state, federal and local agencies going forward. "A full and complete explanation of all plans is required," the city said in a statement.

"Our staff and council have worked nonstop to piece together information, and we voted unanimously in an emergency meeting to file a request for a legal injunction to halt this plan," Arlis Reynolds, a Costa Mesa council member, said in a statement Friday.

In the U.S., there are 14 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to the CDC. There are 21 people, 18 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was docked in Japan, who tested positive for the virus and were repatriated to the U.S.

Globally, there are reportedly more than 75,000 cases of the coronavirus, which has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization, with over 2,300 related deaths.


Well-Known Member
There were plans to also quarantine infected Americans to Anniston, Alabama.
Think there’s an old army base there.

Anyone following the outbreak in Italy? They had a few clusters pop up and put several towns on lockdown immediately. I’d imagine many infected people left Wuhan before the quarantine. So we’d naturally see corresponding outbreaks with no discernible connection to China.

Black Ambrosia

Well-Known Member
Europe Confronts Coronavirus as Italy Battles an Eruption of Cases
By Jason Horowitz and Elisabetta Povoledo
Updated 9:18 p.m. ET

The country announced more than 150 cases, many in the densely populated region around Milan, as officials closed schools and canceled Venice’s carnival celebrations.

Police officers stopped cars on the road outside Casalpusterlengo, Italy, one of the towns under quarantine, on Sunday.Andrea Mantovani for The New York Times
CASALPUSTERLENGO, Italy — Europe confronted its first major outbreak of the coronavirus as an eruption of more than 150 cases in Italy prompted officials on Sunday to lock down at least 10 towns, close schools in major cities and cancel sporting events and cultural touchstones, including the end of the Venice carnival.

The worrisome spike — from fewer than five known cases in Italy before Thursday — shattered the sense of safety and distance that much of the continent had felt in recent months even as the virus has infected more than 78,000 worldwide and killed more than 2,400, nearly all in China.

The perception of a rising threat was amplified on television channels, newspaper headlines and social media feeds across Europe, where leaders could face their greatest challenge since the 2015 migration crisis.

That surge of people into Europe radically altered the politics of the European Union and exposed its institutional weaknesses. This time, it is an invisible virus from abroad that has slipped past Europe’s borders and presents its bickering coalitions with a new potential emergency.

If the virus spreads, the fundamental principle of open borders within much of Europe — so central to the identity of the bloc — will undergo a stress test, as will the vaunted but strained European public health systems, especially in countries that have undergone austerity measures.

Already, a new nervousness has pervaded Europe.

In Italy’s Lombardy region, 10 towns were locked down after a cluster of cases suddenly emerged in Codogno, southeast of Milan.

Residents were supposed to leave or enter the towns only with special permission, affecting at least 50,000 people and by Sunday night, police officers in surgical masks were waving down cars.

Austrian officials stopped a train en route from Italy to Austria and Germany to test passengers for the virus. The Austrian interior minister, Karl Nehammer, said the tests came back negative so the train got the “all clear.”

In France, the new health minister, Olivier Veran, stressed the country’s preparedness, saying it would significantly ramp up its testing.

“There is a problematic situation at the door, in Italy, that we are watching with great attention,” he said on Sunday, adding that a Europe-wide discussion between health ministers was in the works.

On Sunday night, an aid ship bringing hundreds of migrants, who had been rescued off the coast of Libya, to a Sicilian port received instructions from the Italian government to remain in quarantine for 14 days as a precaution, according to the ship’s Twitter account.

Fears of foreigners spreading the virus across oceans has already prompted some governments around the world to impose new border or travel controls.
The Trump administration has barred entry to the United States by most foreign nationals who have recently visited China, where the virus first appeared and spread. Much of the world has adopted similar controls, but the virus has continued to spread, most notably to South Korea, where more cases have been recorded than anywhere else outside China, and this past week to Iran, where eight deaths have been reported.

Israel on Monday will block entry to all nonresidents who have visited Japan and South Korea in the 14 days before their arrival. On Sunday, President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, which has 763 confirmed infections and six deaths, put the country on the highest possible alert, empowering the government to ban visitors from China and take other sweeping measures to contain the outbreak.

“The coming few days will be a critical time for us,” Mr. Moon said at an emergency meeting of government officials.

Even China — with an authoritarian government that has locked down areas with tens of millions of people in an attempt to stamp out the epidemic — has struggled to contain the virus, which has no known cure.

But the scores of new cases in Italy, mostly in the Lombardy region that includes densely populated Milan, present a new challenge for a country with a wobbly government often paralyzed by infighting.

That government has now become the reluctant laboratory to test whether the virus can be successfully contained in an open European society with a liberal approach to restrictions.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of Italy said on Italian television on Sunday that the country had taken precautions, including barring flights from China in January. These measures seemed to have paid off “even if now it looks like it didn’t,” he said.

He suggested that the surge of Italian cases only reflected Italy’s casting a wider net in terms of testing.

“We cannot exclude that after tests that are equally rigorous, the numbers can go up in other countries,” Mr. Conte said.

Beatrice Lorenzin, a former Italian health minister, said the sharp rise in cases in Italy resulted from systematic checks that discovered a “second generation of contagion.”

She said this was probably caused by infected people who traveled to Italy from China using indirect flights without declaring their original departure point or putting themselves in voluntary quarantine during the virus’ incubation period.

“I hope similar things did not happen in other countries,” she said.

The outbreak in Codogno, in Lombardy, was detected after a 38-year-old man was admitted to the city’s hospital and diagnosed with the virus on Thursday. But the man had developed symptoms perhaps five days before that, potentially allowing the virus to spread.

Health officials are trying to figure out how he contracted the virus; he had not been to China. Many cases in Lombardy, officials say, may be traceable to that one case.

At least five members of the hospital medical staff and several patients have been infected. Other persons who tested positive include the man’s pregnant wife, some friends, and others who spent time with them. The towns surrounding the ones where the man works and lives have been included in the shutdown.

On Sunday night on a road outside Casalpusterlengo, one of the locked-down towns, police officers in surgical masks halted cars, asking what business they had in the town. The officers suggested that motorists take an alternate route and urged them against going any further.

Most of the drivers didn’t need much convincing.

Bahije Mounia, a 42-year-old caretaker from a nearby town who wore a surgical mask, turned right back around. She said the government should have let people in the area know how dangerous things were much earlier. With the spike of cases in the region, she said, “It’s almost like we’re in China.”

What had seemed like a contained few cases spread throughout the country’s wealthy north. So did the precautions.

People wore surgical masks in Aosta, which is on the Swiss border. Officials in the Piedmont region closed schools in Turin, and Venice cut its Carnival short. The patriarch of Venice, the Reverend Francesco Moraglia, suspended all religious ceremonies, including Ash Wednesday celebrations that mark the beginning of Lent.

At least two trade fairs in Milan, cornerstones of the city’s economy, were postponed. But the women’s fashion shows, except for those by Armani, continued on schedule on Sunday to large crowds, with few wearing masks, The Associated Press reported. The Giorgio Armani fashion house made a last-minute decision to stream its shows from empty theaters.

Two elderly people who tested positive for the coronavirus were in intensive care at Venice’s municipal hospital.

In the regional capital of Milan, officials closed museums, schools, its cathedral, and halted religious and cultural events. Many other venues, aside from those providing essential services, have been closed, including most bars and nightclubs.

Fears that the city could be quarantined triggered a run on supermarkets. By 5 p.m. on Sunday, at least one supermarket had run out of fruit, vegetables, meat and nearly all canned food.

Some of the customers wore masks, and they all seemed in a hurry to fill up their carts with whatever was left on the shelves.

Vanessa Maiocchi, 45, said she worried about getting her children enough food. She was also concerned that her brother, who has a weak immune system, might be more vulnerable, especially if his company kept making him go to work.

“At least in these cases,” she said, “the state should intervene.”

So far, the virus has killed three people in Italy, including a 78-year-old man from Veneto who died Friday; an elderly woman who died in Crema on Sunday; and a 77-year-old woman who died in her home in Casalpusterlengo and posthumously tested positive for the virus.

The Italian state, which leads the third largest economy in the eurozone, has not inspired much confidence of late, as it has been consumed by internal machinations. But health experts said they were more worried because the Italian health ministry appeared to have moved aggressively to prevent an outbreak, to no avail.

Francesco Passerini, the mayor of Codogno, said in an interview on Sunday evening that he still had not received concrete logistical instructions from Rome.

“Who is going to bring essential goods here?” he said. “Who is going to take care of provisions and medical transportation?”

Two military structures in Lombardy are being prepared to become isolation camps. A military base in Rome has been housing evacuees from Wuhan, China, where the virus began, and the Italian passengers of the Diamond Princess, the cruise ship that has been under quarantine in Yokohama, Japan.

Lockdown procedures like the ones in Lombardy will be applied to other towns if new clusters emerge, officials said. Quarantine measures will also be applied to anyone who has close contact with someone who has the virus.

Elia Delmiglio, the mayor of Casalpusterlengo, said people continued going in and out of his town for most of the day on Sunday.

“We got the decree, but not a precise schedule for when it will be implemented,” he said.

But by late Sunday night, police began arriving to seal the town off.

“People are worried,” said Paolo Camia, a 55-year-old manager of a software company from Casalpusterlengo, who drove out of town in his blue surgical mask to take some pictures of the police checkpoints. “Basically, we can’t leave.”

Black Ambrosia

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FBI orders $40K worth of face masks, hand sanitizer in case of coronavirus outbreak
By Jon Levine

The FBI isn’t taking any chances if the coronavirus stays on its march around the globe.

The law enforcement bureau has ordered $40,000 in face masks and hand sanitizer just in case the illness should become a pandemic in the United States, CNBC reported.

“The FBI has actively been monitoring the coronavirus outbreak in Asia and is taking preemptive measures by procuring these items … now,” reads an acquisition document obtained by the network.

The supplies, according to the paperwork, are “for the FBI strategic stockpile for Pandemic Preparedness” and will be stored across the country for easy and fast distribution, according to the paperwork.

The Trump administration declared the sickness a public health emergency last month.

The goods are coming from the manufacturers 3M and PDI Healthcare, which have a week to fill the order, the document shows.

So far, US health officials have confirmed 35 confirmed coronavirus cases nationwide but no deaths.

Worldwide, the death toll stands at 2,362 and the number of confirmed cases at 77,935.

The vast majority of deaths and cases have been in China, where the virus originated near the city of Wuhan.


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What yall think?
Don’t buy China’s story: The coronavirus may have leaked from a lab
By Steven W. Mosher

February 22, 2020 | 11:18am | Updated

Researchers in central China study coronavirus samples as some wonder whether the disease escaped from a Wuhan laboratory.AFP via Getty Images
At an emergency meeting in Beijing held last Friday, Chinese leader Xi Jinping spoke about the need to contain the coronavirus and set up a system to prevent similar epidemics in the future.

A national system to control biosecurity risks must be put in place “to protect the people’s health,” Xi said, because lab safety is a “national security” issue.

Xi didn’t actually admit that the coronavirus now devastating large swathes of China had escaped from one of the country’s bioresearch labs. But the very next day, evidence emerged suggesting that this is exactly what happened, as the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology released a new directive entitled: “Instructions on strengthening biosecurity management in microbiology labs that handle advanced viruses like the novel coronavirus.”

Read that again. It sure sounds like China has a problem keeping dangerous pathogens in test tubes where they belong, doesn’t it? And just how many “microbiology labs” are there in China that handle “advanced viruses like the novel coronavirus”?

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It turns out that in all of China there is only one. And this one is located in the Chinese city of Wuhan that just happens to be . . . the epicenter of the epidemic.

That’s right. China’s only Level 4 microbiology lab that is equipped to handle deadly coronaviruses, called the National Biosafety Laboratory, is part of the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

A member of a medical staff checks the body temperature of a patient who has displayed mild symptoms of the coronavirus.AFP via Getty Images
What’s more, the People’s Liberation Army’s top expert in biological warfare, a Maj. Gen. Chen Wei, was dispatched to Wuhan at the end of January to help with the effort to contain the outbreak.

According to the PLA Daily, Gen. Chen has been researching coronaviruses since the SARS outbreak of 2003, as well as Ebola and anthrax. This would not be her first trip to the Wuhan Institute of Virology either, since it is one of only two bioweapons research labs in all of China.

Does that suggest to you that the novel coronavirus, now known as SARS-CoV-2, may have escaped from that very lab, and that Gen. Chen’s job is to try and put the genie back in the bottle, as it were? It does to me.

Add to this China’s history of similar incidents. Even the deadly SARS virus has escaped — twice — from the Beijing lab where it was — and probably is — being used in experiments. Both “man-made” epidemics were quickly contained, but neither would have happened at all if proper safety precautions had been taken.

And then there is this little-known fact: Some Chinese researchers are in the habit of selling their laboratory animals to street vendors after they have finished experimenting on them.

You heard me right.

Instead of properly disposing of infected animals by cremation, as the law requires, they sell them on the side to make a little extra cash. Or, in some cases, a lot of extra cash. One Beijing researcher, now in jail, made a million dollars selling his monkeys and rats on the live animal market, where they eventually wound up in someone’s stomach.

Members of a police sanitation team spray disinfectant as a preventive measure against the spread of the coronavirus.AFP via Getty Images
Also fueling suspicions about SARS-CoV-2’s origins is the series of increasingly lame excuses offered by the Chinese authorities as people began to sicken and die.

They first blamed a seafood market not far from the Institute of Virology, even though the first documented cases of Covid-19 (the illness caused by SARS-CoV-2) involved people who had never set foot there. Then they pointed to snakes, bats and even a cute little scaly anteater called a pangolin as the source of the virus.

I don’t buy any of this. It turns out that snakes don’t carry coronaviruses and that bats aren’t sold at a seafood market. Neither are pangolins, for that matter, an endangered species valued for their scales as much as for their meat.

The evidence points to SARS-CoV-2 research being carried out at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The virus may have been carried out of the lab by an infected worker or crossed over into humans when they unknowingly dined on a lab animal. Whatever the vector, Beijing authorities are now clearly scrambling to correct the serious problems with the way their labs handle deadly pathogens.

China has unleashed a plague on its own people. It’s too early to say how many in China and other countries will ultimately die for the failures of their country’s state-run microbiology labs, but the human cost will be high.

But not to worry. Xi has assured us that he is controlling biosecurity risks “to protect the people’s health.” PLA bioweapons experts are in charge.

I doubt the Chinese people will find that very reassuring. Neither should we.

Steven W. Mosher is the President of the Population Research Institute and the author of “Bully of Asia: Why China’s ‘Dream’ is the New Threat to


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isn't that tragic. Well I will be moving around America and some latin countries . . . albeit holding my breath.