The Coronavirus was first first diagnosed in China less than a month ago. On Thursday (U.S.) / Friday (Beijing) the Chinese government stated they have confirmed cases of 830 patients and the death toll has risen to 25.
The virus has infected more than a dozen people outside China around the world, mostly in Asia. However, the first U.S. case has been reported in Texas who traveled to the epicenter of the outbreak, Wuhan City, China.
A total of 18 million people are now under quarantine in China.
(Via CNBC) […] Local authorities in China have quarantined Wuhan and Huanggang, which have a combined population of 17 million. Including Wuhan where the virus was first identified, travel bans were in effect Thursday for at least eight cities.
[…] The previously unknown, flu-like coronavirus strain is believed to have emerged from an animal market in central Wuhan city.
A group of scientists said late Wednesday that they may have a breakthrough in discovering the original source of the virus, declaring that snakes, particularly the Chinese krait and the Chinese cobra, may be responsible for the outbreak. The scientist used samples of the virus from patients and determined the genetic code. (read more)
Interestingly, a China researcher on Twitter, Ben Tallmadge, often a great source of granular details for all things China, has been providing information about China developing biological weapons specifically in the city of Wuhan.
Citing a story from July 2019, Tallmadge draws attention to a level-4 biological lab in Canada that was infiltrated Chinese spy scientists and a biologic agent was removed. What makes this aspect interesting is the location where the Chinese spies returned after they were caught; Wuhan City, the exact place where the Coronavirus started.
A year earlier, in July 2018, China inaugurated Wuhan biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) lab in the city. It is the only level-four biological research facility in the country. The Wuhan lab was built precisely to look into dangerous pathogens like the novel Coronavirus; which again is reported to have originated from Wuhan City. This just doesn’t seem like a coincidence.
In July 2019, there was a considerable protest in Wuhan City because the Chinese government was building a massive incinerator in the event a biologic element escaped the facility. Again, this doesn’t seem like a coincidence.
What makes this additionally alarming is that the Chinese government generally has a history of playing-down the level of any internal threat within their society.
The scale of open activity by the Chinese government reflects a genuine public concern considerably beyond what they are normally willing to admit.
You can read more details and assembled media reports [HERE] in an ongoing thread that Tallmadge is compiling.
“Make no mistake, this is an emergency in China. But it has not yet become a global health emergency. It may yet become one,” Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters on a conference call following a second emergency meeting on the disease on Thursday. The emergency committee members were “very divided,” a WHO official said, coming to a split vote for a second time. While the disease is spreading through human-to-human contact in China, Tedros said it’s not yet spreading in other areas of the world where people have flown to after visiting China.
The virus causes severe illness in about a quarter of the people who become infected, he said, killing people who generally have other underlying health conditions.
WHO is not recommending any broader restrictions on travel or trade at this time. Physicians recommended basic hygiene, including washing hands with soap and water and avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth. (link)