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Chinese Authorities Exert Utmost Efforts To Get Novel Coronavirus under Control

Jan. 22, 2020 (EIRNS)—Chinese authorities are exerting every effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV, which was first discovered in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province. The outbreak began at a local farmers’ market in Wuhan and probably came from wild animals which were being sold there illegally. Over 500 people have been diagnosed with the disease and 17 people have died from it, all of the deaths so far in Hubei Province where Wuhan is located. But it has also spread to a dozen other countries, presumedly from people who had recently been in Wuhan.

The symptoms are those of pneumonia, colds, fever, and difficulty breathing. Presuming that Wuhan is the sole source of the disease, Chinese authorities have placed something of a cordon sanitaire around the city. Traffic to and from the city is being restricted and people having to leave are being given temperature checks to make sure they are not carrying the disease. It is not a fail-safe, as the one person in the United States in the state of Washington, who has been diagnosed with the virus after visiting Wuhan, did not exhibit the symptoms until he arrived in the U.S.

The hope is that the only source of the disease was the Wuhan market, but this remains to be seen. And given the hundreds of millions of people who are traveling in China and abroad during this Spring Festival, with the lunar New Year on Jan. 25, characterized as the greatest migration in history, the disease has the capability of becoming a major global threat. Chinese authorities are being very open about the spread of the disease, issuing updates on an hourly basis. Eric Rubin, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, praised China’s efforts in handling of the crisis.

“The Chinese authorities have done an excellent job of trying to figure out what is going on very quickly. And not only have they been figuring it out but they have been spreading the information, allowing everyone across the world to see it. They figured out what the virus was, they sequenced its genome, and they publicized that almost immediately,”

said Professor Rubin.

Temperature measurements are being taken remotely at all the Chinese transport nodes, a procedure that China developed during the 2003-04 SARS emergency. Similar measures are now being taken at U.S. airports that are receiving travelers who may have been in Wuhan, at Los Angeles (LAX), JFK Airport in New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Chicago.

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