It seems the mysterious Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak may be much bigger than we are being told. Today Chinese officials took the unprecedented step of Quarantining the entire city Wuhan, which has a population of 11.08 million people.
All traffic in and out of the city has been suspended, and at 10AM this morning all planes and trains were shutdowns. The Quarantine comes as the Chinese Lunar New Year, a week-long holiday where hundreds of millions of Chinese people travel both domestically and international, is set to kick-off.
Chinese state media, who is usually pretty quiet about these types of things, put out the alarming quarantine announcement via Twitter.
“What they’re doing is a very, very strong measure, and with full commitment,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization said in a WHO press conference Wednesday afternoon.
The Quarantine stops all public transportation, including city buses, trains, and ferries. Unfortunately, it may be too late since thousands of people started fleeing the city the moment the order was released.
Inside Wuhan airport, people are queueing for flight check-ins.— Lea Li (@Lealokkk) January 22, 2020
In the early morning, the local authorities announced to suspend the city’s public transportations from Jan 23 10am. #WuhanCoronavirus #WuhanPneumonia pic.twitter.com/KHUxR6cRIJ
Unconfirmed reports from locals started leaking on the internet this afternoon, showing the city’s streets and highways being blocked by government vehicles.
Other Residents posted videos they claim are rows of quarantine tents to treat patients of the “Wuhan Pneumonia”.
#China Video from #Wuhan filmed by a local citizen; he filmed the makeshift tents in a Wuhan hospital to quarantine and treat the patients of #WuhanPneumonia— W. B. Yeats (@WBYeats1865) January 22, 2020
– #WuhanPneumonia is much more serious than anyone has imagined
– It looks like Biohazard (game/movie) pic.twitter.com/aOtCWIyVaK
DEVELOPING: Wuhan’s hospitals overwhelmed by concerned citizens, all concerned citizens waiting for confirmation on whether they’ve caught the #Coronavirus. Imagine how easily people can get sick from standing in these lines. City on lockdown#Wuhan pic.twitter.com/baF0hegRw4— Tom (@TomvdMolen) January 22, 2020
Medical Officials Claim Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak Numbers are a lot higher than what is being reported
Wuhan officials claim the province has confirmed 444 cases, which would bring the national total to more than 500. But some health officials are already warning that the number has likely reached into the thousands.
Yesterday, Imperial College London researchers estimated there may be over 1,700 cases of the novel Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, in a new report.
“There has already been human-to-human transmission and infection of medical workers,” Li Bin, deputy director of the National Health Commission, said at a news conference Wednesday. “Evidence has shown that the disease has been transmitted through the respiratory tract, and there is the possibility of viral mutation.”
U.S. Senator urges Trump to Ban Travel from China over Coronavirus
With at least one confirmed case already hitting the United States, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has urgedg President Donald Trump to consider implementing a ban on all travelers from China to the United States over the Chinese governments mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Senator sent the following letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar .
“I write to you today about the continued spread of the Wuhan coronavirus, which has now arrived on American soil,” Cotton wrote in the Wednesday letter, which came after the first U.S. case of coronavirus was confirmed in Washington state earlier this week. “Once again, a deadly virus is emanating from the People’s Republic of China. The Wuhan coronavirus has infected hundreds of people in China, killing at least seventeen individuals so far. The disease has now spread to Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. At least one case has been confirmed in the United States. I’m confident that the United States Government is undertaking all possible measures to contain the spread of the disease, but I’m deeply concerned that waging an efficient and successful campaign against this virus depends on the trustworthiness and transparency of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), an organization with a horrendous history in these matters.”
Sen. Cotton went on to talk about the Chinese Communist Party’s history of providing misleading and false information on public health scares.
“As you know, in the past the CCP has lied, falsified statistics, and suppressed information about the outbreak of disease in order to protect its political standing and cover for its own incompetence,” Cotton wrote. “In 2002 and 2003, the SARS virus killed nearly 800 people and infected over 8,000 worldwide after the CCP denied there was even a health crisis. During the outbreak, CCP officials imposed a months-long blackout on media coverage of the disease. The CCP, with its totalitarian Marxist-Leninistideology, reflexively covers up scandals that could threaten its power.”
“For these reasons, the CCP’s calls for transparency about the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus are deeply suspect,” Cotton wrote. “I urge the Department of Health and Human Services to carefully vet any information being passed from its contacts in Beijing. If you have reason to believe that U.S. officials are being provided with false or misleading information about the disease from Chinese government officials, I ask that you notify Congress immediately.”
Already, as we reported yesterday, cases of coronavirus have been reported in travelers entering Australia, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and the United States from Wuhan.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Tuesday that five US airports — New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and Chicago O’Hare International Airport — would begin screening passengers for the virus.
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