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Wuhan coronavirus death toll passes 900 Wuhan coronavirus death toll passes 900

Bronze medal Reporter Kukku Posted 10 Feb 2020
Wuhan coronavirus death toll passes 900

Honeymooners stuck on the quarantined cruise: "Get us off the ship" More than 3,700 people are stuck in Yokohama, Japan, on a cruise ship that became a floating quarantine zone after dozens of people onboard tested positive for the coronavirus. Among them is Spencer Fehrenbacher, an American citizen and a masters degree student in Tianjin, China, who wanted to celebrate the Lunar New Year with his friends on the ship. Now, he's confined to his cabin, spending his time reading and watching TV. Passengers in interior cabins are allowed out for about an hour and a half, but have to wear masks at all times and stay one meter away from each other, he said. Then Fehrenbacher learned an additional 41 people were diagnosed with coronavirus. Eventually, 70 people total on the ship would test positive.

"It is beyond frightening news," Fehrenbacher said.

Newlyweds Milena Basso and Gaetano Cerullo are also on the ship. But instead of enjoying the honeymoon they'd saved up for over two years, they're worried about staying healthy and being trapped for longer than 14 days.

"We just don't feel like we're safe," Basso told CNN. "We should be quarantined in a sanitary environment that's safe, not on a cruise ship that's already infected."

"Donald Trump, save us," Basso said. "Get us a government-based aeroplane. Get us off the ship."

Take a look at life under lockdown in Wuhan

It has been three weeks since Wu Chen went into self-enforced quarantine in his Wuhan apartment, with only his cat, Baozi, for company. Since January 13, the 26-year-old graphic designer has only ventured outside his apartment a few times, to stock up on supplies of food and protective face masks -- and to collect food for his cat. He is one of the millions of people who are all but confined to their homes in Wuhan and several other Chinese cities, under an unprecedented lockdown with no sign of ending.

Life under lockdown: Justin Steece, an American teacher in Wuhan, wears a face mask over his nose and mouth and sunglasses to protect his eyes when he goes out. He also puts on an extra layer of clothing, which is then washed once he gets back home. At the supermarket, there is a small selection of food -- fresh produce is a rare find. Any shopping bags he uses are carefully wiped down with soap.

Killing time: As the weeks drag on, Chinese social media has been flooded with videos of citizens entertaining themselves by square dancing in their living rooms, or re-enacting Chinese operas. Wu Chen has joined in, posting daily videos on Tik Tok. In one video, he plays hide and seek with his cat.

3,700 people will be quarantined at sea for nine more days

For most of last week, 7,300 people were quarantined at sea on two cruise ships docked in Japan and Hong Kong, after former passengers were confirmed to have the coronavirus.

One ship has been released from quarantine, and passengers allowed to disembark, while the other remains quarantined after more cases were confirmed on board. Here's what we know about the ships:

World Dream:

  • The ship docked in Hong Kong on February 5, placed under quarantine with more than 3,600 people on board (including crew and passengers)
  • All were permitted to leave early Monday morning local time after everyone on board tested negative for coronavirus
  • World Dream had docked at various different ports across China and Vietnam before arriving in Hong Kong

Diamond Princess:

  • The ship remains anchored at Yokohama, near Tokyo. There are more than 3,700 people on board, including crew and passengers
  • The ship has been quarantined since February 4, after a former passenger tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus
  • Since then, 70 new cases have been confirmed and taken off the ship
  • All guests onboard will remain quarantined until February 19 and will receive a full refund for the cruise

The coronavirus crisis could shut auto plants around the world

The coronavirus outbreak's cost to businesses worldwide is already readily apparent -- and auto plants could be among the first to feel the impact. That's because of the massive size of the Chinese auto parts industry and the fact that you can't build a car with only 99% of its parts. China is a major supplier of parts to auto plants around the world -- shipping nearly $35 billion of parts in 2018, according to United Nations data. While some of those parts go-to auto parts retail stores, a large percentage of them go to assembly lines and are used to build cars. But plants across China have been closed for weeks in response to the coronavirus outbreak -- and that could mean factories around the world grinding to a halt.

It only takes one missing part to stop a line," said Mike Dunne, a consultant to the auto industry in Asia and the former head of GM's operations in Indonesia.

Plants are closing across Asia: So far most of the auto assembly plants in China are closed; Volkswagen announced it was keeping its Chinese auto plants shut partly due to travel restrictions there and partly due to the lack of parts. But it has already started to spread to plants elsewhere. Hyundai has shut its assembly plants in South Korea, not because the disease itself has spread there but because it can't keep the plants operating without Chinese parts. Last week, Fiat Chrysler said it has one European plant at risk from the lack of Chinese parts in the next two to four weeks.

New York City could spend $1 million a day on coronavirus response, Chuck Schumer warns

New York City has already spent more than $1 million in their coronavirus response and “could spend millions of local dollars more over the next 60 days to help tackle the virus," according to a press release from New York Sen. Chuck Schumer. In a press conference Sunday night local time, Schumer asked the federal government to reimburse the city for its use of local funds in fighting coronavirus."New York City has already spent more than a million dollars on public health activities of national importance to tackle the coronavirus, and could if the need develops, be looking at a one-million-dollar-a-day tab," Schumer said.
“Tonight I’m asking the Feds, (Health and Human Services), to sign on the dotted line, just take the contract and sign it and say we will reimburse New York City for its costs. This administration should not be punishing New York by not giving us dollars.”

Preparations in New York: The funds have been distributed to the city's department of health, various hospitals, the New York Police Department, and other local agencies said the press release. The funds also help source diagnostic tests and other laboratory equipment. There have been no cases of the coronavirus in New York state yet. The 12 confirmed cases so far are spread across six states: Washington, Illinois, California, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts.

He spoke out about the coronavirus. Now his family and friends fear he's been silenced

On Thursday, as people across China mourned the death of whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang, concerns were growing over the whereabouts of a citizen journalist who had filed vital, critical reporting from inside of Wuhan. Chen Qiushi, who had been uploading regular online video reports from the epicenter of the outbreak, went missing on Thursday evening, just as hundreds of thousands of people in China began demanding freedom of speech online.

Chen's disappearance: He arrived in Wuhan on January 24, a day after the city was placed under a state-imposed lockdown. He visited overflowing hospitals, funeral parlors and makeshift isolation wards -- offering the world a glimpse into the grim reality at the heart of the crisis. Chen's work had featured in CNN's reporting. Chen stopped answering calls to friends early Thursday evening, and his relatives later found out that he had been put into "forced quarantine" by the police. By Sunday, Chen's disappearance had started to gain traction on Weibo, China's Twitter-like platform, with many pleading for his release.

Hope the government can treat Chen Qiushi in a fair and just way," one  user wrote on Sunday morning. "We can no longer afford a second Li Wenliang!

The coronavirus numbers, broken down

China’s National Health Commission confirmed Sunday evening that 97 more people had died of the Wuhan coronavirus, bringing the death toll in China 908. The global death toll is now 910 with one death in Hong Kong and one death in the Philippines. Let's break down the numbers:

Death toll

  • In China: 908
  • Outside China: 2
  • Global total: 910


  • In China: 40,171
  • Outside China: 539
  • Global total: 40,710

The vast majority of deaths and cases are inside mainland China, and concentrated in the central province of Hubei. The outbreak itself is thought to have begun in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei.

World Health Organization sends experts to China

A World Health Organization (WHO) team left for China on Sunday to assist with containing the novel coronavirus outbreak, said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Twitter. Aylward has also lead the WHO’s response to Ebola, as well as initiatives for immunization, communicable diseases control and polio eradication. Ghebreyesus added that "we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg," and the coronavirus could still continue spreading outside of China. He called for calm instead of panic, and international cooperation instead of stigma and fear."In the spirit of human solidarity, I salute the doctors, nurses, caregivers and public health workers on the front lines who, at personal risk, are doing their utmost to stem the (coronavirus) outbreak. They are the true heroes of this outbreak," he tweeted.

In Hong Kong, eight confirmed cases came from one family cluster

Eight confirmed coronavirus cases in Hong Kong came from one family cluster, said the city's Center for Health Protection. The cases, which were reported Sunday, bring Hong Kong's total to 36 confirmed cases, including one death.

The family cluster: The first of these eight cases was a 24-year-old man who sought medical treatment on January 30 after developing a fever and cough. The patient then consulted a private doctor on February 4 and sought additional treatment at St Paul's Hospital on February 6th. The patient was then placed into isolation on February 8. The Center for Health Protection then traced the patients' contacts and confirmed eight of the 24-year-old patient's relatives were infected with the novel coronavirus, including his father, mother, grandmother, aunts and cousins.

Hot pot transmission: The 24-year-old patient did not travel during the incubation period. Authorities traced the possible transmission of the virus to a hot pot dinner party the 24-year-old patient attended with 18 relatives on January 26. The Center added that it is still conducting an epidemiological investigation of two more relatives who are showing symptoms.

Here's the latest on the coronavirus outbreak

The novel coronavirus outbreak that began in December in Wuhan, China, has now killed more than 900 people -- surpassing the death toll of the 2003 SARS outbreak, which killed 774 people globally.

If you're just joining us, here's the latest:

  • Cases rise: In total, the coronavirus has killed 910 people and infected 40,710 globally, though the vast majority of deaths and cases remain in mainland China, concentrated in the central province of Hubei.
  • Journalist missing: Chen Qiushi, a citizen journalist who had been posting critical reports from inside of Wuhan, went missing Thursday evening. Friends and family later found out from the police that he had been forced into quarantine. His disappearance has gained traction online, with many pleading for his release.
  • Whistleblower doctor: Chen's disappearance comes right after the death of Li Wenliang, a Chinese whistleblower doctor who became infected after trying to warn people of the virus in December. His death sparked an intense wave of mourning and rare public fury against the government in China.
  • Quarantined cruises: More than 3,600 people disembarked a cruise ship in Hong Kong after testing negative for coronavirus. They had been quarantined at sea for five days. Another 3,700 people are still quarantined on a cruise ship docked in Japan, with dozens of infected cases found on board. 

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