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    China 2020 Coronavirus

    I feel like it's getting to a point where this might need a thread of its own (it was briefly mentioned on the ghost cities of China thread).

    Status as of 24th January.

    800+ confirmed cases, 26 deaths. Scientists estimate there have been around 4,000 cases so far. Most deaths in Hubei province (where Wuhan, the epicentre is located), but also one death in next-door Hebei province and one in North-East Heilongjiang.

    10 Chinese cities housing about 20 million people currently on lockdown (all transport halted). It's lunar New Year, the one guaranteed holiday that all Chinese workers get, the one chance many people have to go home to see their family. People are going to be pissed. It's usually the biggest mass movement of people on the planet.

    Public events in major Chinese cities cancelled. Shanghai Disney Land closed temporarily.

    Cases reported in Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, US and possibly UK.

    Speculation that the virus may have jumped from snakes at an unregulated wildlife market.

    Seems to be deadly mostly to old people (as of yesterday the youngest reported victim was 48 years old), and those with pre-existing conditions such as Parkinson's and diabetes.

    Chinese woman who boasted about getting past temperature scanners by taking fever-reducing medication, and who made it to a Michelin-Star restaurant in Paris, tracked down and made to seek medical attention.

    This could be contained like SARS was, or could be the start of World War Z. A thread to post any developments.

    #2
    Also, human-to-human transmission has been confirmed. Multiple health workers who came into contact with infected persons have also been infected.

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      #3
      That Chinese women is one great big idiot to say the least...

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        #4
        The dynamics of China make this interesting to see how it unfolds. On the one hand, China is very densely populated making it hard to control transmission. On the other hand, China has no qualms about trying to lockdown 20 million people. The WHO say they did not recommend attempting to contain the virus in Wuhan because no-one has ever managed to contain a city of 11 million people before. But China would be totally happy with imposing an immediate military-backed curfew on the entire population. And most people would comply. Though the case of the Chinese woman in Paris obviously demonstrates that not all Chinese citizens blindly follow authority.

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          #5
          At the risk of sounding flippant, 26 deaths out of 800 confirmed cases sounds relatively benign, as new disease outbreaks go. Sars was a lot higher - a quick Google suggests a fatality rate in the low double digits, or more than 50% for elderly people, and of course things like Ebola are considerably more lethal than that.

          Not trying to downplay the severity, just inject a bit of optimism into a very grim situation. Though, these are Chinese statistics we're talking about, so who knows what the real numbers are.

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            #6
            "big idiot" is not the first characterisation that comes to my mind, i must say. "Despicable sociopath" seems to be the more salient characteristic.

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              #7
              China has begun construction on a 1,000 bed hospital in Wuhan for treating additional cases which it says will be ready by February 3rd.

              I used to watch skyscrapers being built in Chongqing in my lunch hour. At least one storey per day. I think they'll manage it. Hopefully it'll be enough.

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                #8
                Originally posted by Evariste Euler Gauss View Post
                "big idiot" is not the first characterisation that comes to my mind, i must say. "Despicable sociopath" seems to be the more salient characteristic.
                At least she ran her mouth off about it so they could track her down.

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                  #9
                  Now at 1250 cases and 41 deaths

                  France just reported the first positives in Europe

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                    #10
                    Well if that is as a result of the aforementioned idiot/sociopath I hope a spell of prison time will follow

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                      #11
                      How can a thousand bed hospital be built in a couple of weeks. That seems like crazy talk.

                      I guess they can work round the clock and every day with a big enough labour pool ready willing to do the work, but surely all the materials, fixtures and fittings just can't be magicked into place. And all the health care workers to fill it. is it built from cardboard and string and will fall down as soon as a big, bad wolf blows on it.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Greenlander View Post
                        How can a thousand bed hospital be built in a couple of weeks. That seems like crazy talk.

                        I guess they can work round the clock and every day with a big enough labour pool ready willing to do the work, but surely all the materials, fixtures and fittings just can't be magicked into place. And all the health care workers to fill it. is it built from cardboard and string and will fall down as soon as a big, bad wolf blows on it.
                        They've said a lot of the construction will be pre-fabricated. But it's not absolutely crazy talk. They built a hospital in the outskirts of Beijing in 7 days for the SARS outbreak which ended up treating one in seven patients who got SARS. They've said they'll send trained doctors and nurses from Beijing and Shanghai. When you have a population of 1.3 billion, and you are an absolute dictatorship with almost completely unquestioned authority, it's not that hard to redirect enough resources and people for this. There's no red tape for a start. The site of this proposed new hospital was apparently due to be a site for labourer accommodation so some of the groundwork and foundations was already started. The government requisitioned it immediately. There will have been zero resistance to that.

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                          #13
                          25th January update:

                          1,200 cases, 41 deaths (all in China).

                          Cases reported in France, Australia, South Korea and Nepal.

                          Youngest death now a 36-year-old, believed to be a doctor. Approximately 25% of cases reported as 'severe' (a lower proportion are fatal).

                          UK attempting to track 2,000 people who recently returned from Hubei province. No confirmed cases yet.

                          Hong Kong has extended school holidays by two weeks to keep children at home. McDonald's has closed outlets in five Chinese cities. Forbidden city and popular section of the Great Wall closed. Football tournaments and lunar festivities cancelled.

                          ​​​​​Even if this is contained, it's going to cost China's economy billions.
                          ​​​​​​

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                            #14
                            It seems I've conflated two stories. The doctor who died was 62. Another patient died age 36.
                            ​​​​
                            ​​​​

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                              #15
                              Really worried about one of my colleagues at work. She went back home to celebrate the Chinese New Year but unfortunately she lives in Wuhan and has been told not to leave her home.

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                                #16
                                Originally posted by Balderdasha View Post

                                They've said a lot of the construction will be pre-fabricated. But it's not absolutely crazy talk. They built a hospital in the outskirts of Beijing in 7 days for the SARS outbreak which ended up treating one in seven patients who got SARS. They've said they'll send trained doctors and nurses from Beijing and Shanghai. When you have a population of 1.3 billion, and you are an absolute dictatorship with almost completely unquestioned authority, it's not that hard to redirect enough resources and people for this. There's no red tape for a start. The site of this proposed new hospital was apparently due to be a site for labourer accommodation so some of the groundwork and foundations was already started. The government requisitioned it immediately. There will have been zero resistance to that.
                                Even with all those massive economies of scale, even the advantage of having the land with groundworks and foundations pretty much in place it's still a dead impressive piece of construction to do in just over one week.

                                Do you know (can you say) what the safety record is like on projects like this, especially with such a quick turnaround.

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                                  #17
                                  Oh construction is pretty lethal in China. It's on a par with mining in terms of deaths I think. That's another way they can be faster, and go through less red tape.

                                  https://clb.org.hk/content/china%E2%...more-dangerous

                                  In Chongqing 15 years ago, I'd regularly see construction workers 20 storeys up, hanging off bamboo scaffolding with no helmets, no safety harnesses, etc. According to the link above, it hasn't got much better.

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                                    #18
                                    Saw a group of (Chinese?) students this morning wearing facemasks.

                                    FFS, grow up you nesh tossers

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                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Guy Profumo View Post
                                      Saw a group of (Chinese?) students this morning wearing facemasks.

                                      FFS, grow up you nesh tossers

                                      "Nesh"?

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                                        #20
                                        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nesh

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                                          #21
                                          Mind you it's very common in a lot of East Asian countries and not necessarily related to coronavirus, so Guy needs to stop being so mardy

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                                            #22
                                            You do know there'll now be people asking you what “mardy” means?

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                                              #23
                                              I used it deliberately in the spirt of South Yorkshire vocabulary (though i think mardy is better known nationally thanks to the Arctic Monkeys)

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                                                #24
                                                Guy, the climate has nothing to do with it.

                                                Were you to ever visit East Asia, you would see loads of people with masks when it is 30 plus with over 90 percent humidity. A lot of it is people being concerned about infecting others when they are under the weather themselves (and at work due to the predominant workaholic culture).

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                                                  #25
                                                  The US is evacuating its consular personnel and their families from Wuhan, and Peugeot and Citroen, each of which have major facilities there, are doing the same with their expat executives.

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