New Cases Are Reported as Beijing Sets New Rules

The mandate came as the Chinese government disclosed that hundreds of medical workers who had been helping combat the coronavirus outbreak had become infected and at least six had died.

Comments: 163

  1. A retrospective might be in order. There is nothing new under the sun, over 70 years old here and the discussions regarding climate change and its effects including the proliferation of new genetic variations of existing diseases came up in my primary school classes long before current social awareness. This is not an awakening, it is a nightmare constantly being replayed due to political and social intransigence favoring the economy over the survival of the human race.

  2. @Abo The human race is having no trouble surviving. Approximately 1500 people have died from COVID-19. The world's population increases by that amount approximately every 10 minutes.

  3. What are the real numbers the CCP is hiding? If we JUST found out nearly 6k medical workers are infected, then this is definitely far worse than they're letting on.

  4. The article states 1,700 medical workers infected, not “6K.” Yes, it is a disturbing sign of how infectious this virus is. However, be careful with the figures, please. The last thing we need is to inflate already sobering numbers.

  5. 6k is the total number of new confirmed cases in the past 24 hours, not the number of infected medical workers

  6. @Al Crisis response 101: release the bad news a little at a time so as to hopefully minimize the impact.

  7. Unfortunately, people seldom grasp the severity of a crisis while it is happening - in this case, containment failed and we are no dealing with a very nasty pathogen which is readily transmitted from host to host. Hospitalizing people now runs the risk of infecting people in hospital for other illnesses and that dramatically increase mortality rates. Blood plasma and antivirals point to an extremely dire situation when coupled with shortages of drugs and testing kits. The USA is ill prepared and grossly under resourced to wage the fight that the PRC has been waging. We are relying on local departments of health - but as the infection infects healthcare workers, we will quickly find that we lack the bench strength to win this fight. Anyone who underestimates the lethality of the situation is a delusional fool. I don't sense that the USA grasps the danger and it will not until the wildfire of contagion is raging like a pandemic inferno at which time it will be too late for containment to work. Supplies of blood plasma from infection survivors in the US are non-existent as are adequate stocks of anti-virals to treat such a pandemic and forget about negative pressure rooms and quarantine facilities - and ask yourselves how many hospital workers will become infected and infect their families and you quickly see the unmitigated risk of a delivery system collapse.

  8. ONLY ONE lab in all of China meets the required biosafety standards needed to study this coronavirus.  The lab is in the center of Wuhan. The Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory’s mission was/is to help Chinese scientists "prepare for and respond to future infectious disease outbreaks”. This research lab holds the world's most dangerous pathogens at maximum biocontainment levels.  The bio-safety protocols are exhaustive and exhausting for its personnel. To err is human. No no no. Wuhan as a birthplace for this virus cannot be a freaky stroke of bad luck in nature. At best it is an accident. A tragic human error in that lab in Wuhan. Of all the hundreds of thousands of back-alley wet markets in East Asia, SE Asia and Africa that butcher exotic and ordinary animals for human consumption, nature randomly but coincidentally chose Wuhan to release this virus? So unlikely. More likely - a lapse in bio safety practices at this Level 4 lab led to the virus’ escape into Wuhan. And the government found it expedient to blame a wet market in Wuhan instead of taking responsibility for it. Sound familiar? Even the U.S.’ CDC has occasionally failed biosafety compliance tests at its facilities. So I reject the official line for good common sense reasons. Think.

  9. Lots of my friends from Taiwan told me this story and they told everyone here the same story. But only people from Taiwan believe this conspiracy. I understand there is hostility to China in Taiwan but I do think you guys should stop spreading the conspiracy. It doesn’t help solve the problem.

  10. You assume my belief is tainted by geopolitics. It is not. Think about the odds. Knowing the truth is important.

  11. @wong I respectfully ask, which point of view also harbours democracy and freedom of information as opposed to imperial smoke and mirrors?

  12. Does successfully recovering from COVID-2019 give you immunity?

  13. Probably. Or else the plasma transfusions from survivors would be ineffective.

  14. @Wize Adz 🇺🇸 as another article illustrated, this is unknown. Firstly, a COVID-12 exposed survivor would have to be exposed later, at regular intervals. Immunity may remain for a period of time, years, months... Lifetime immunity is possible, however, if this Coronavirus is like other Coronaviruses, lifetime immunity is unlikely.

  15. Are we willing to ask the question, how much has Mr. Turmp's trade war with China affected the response to, and information about, this deadly epidemic. In early January China refused official dialog/involvement with the CDC, (though this may have happened even without the souring relationship). In general, how has the extensive trade war affected China's ability to combat this tragic situation?

  16. @Rudy2 Basically, the tariffs have forced many U.S. companies to diversify their supply chains. This has given them a head start on the unfortunate companies who have not diversified their supply chains. Any company who still relies on China for all of their supplies, is in deep trouble now....

  17. The situation is still grave in Hubei province. However, we can be hopeful if we look at the situation in the rest of the country. Between 00:00 and 24:00 Feb 13, 2020 Beijing Time, in the rest 30 provinces and regions in China, 267 persons were diagnosed contracting the virus and 391 persons recovered and were discharged from hospital. So more people were discharged from hospital than those diagnosed with the disease on 2/13. In addition, though the virus is dangerous and highly contagious, the fatality rate has been less than 1% up to now in Chine if we exclude Hubei province. Just pray the Chinese people will soon overcome the current difficulties!

  18. Numbers, finally transmitted, valid or not, don’t, can’t, ever represent people who have names. Identities. Self-created, and ascribed ones. Aspirations. Achieved as well as not. Ranges of behaviors. Successful ones, as well as not. A tale of control that went out of control. Derelicting policymakers “diseasing” innocents. Unnecessary anxieties. Unnecessary deaths. Lies anchoring ideologies; harming all too many. Numbers corrupting institutionalized political innumeracy.

  19. @S.Einstein.” Yeah, we're not all as special as we think we are. We may have hopes and dreams but who is to say that other parasites do not also.

  20. Experts have consistently said that the number infected and the number killed by this virus is underestimated. It’s difficult not to imagine the entire country under siege if containment procedures are ineptly conducted, as seems to be the case.

  21. It sounds like the lack of medical equipment-- new gowns, masks, and gloves-- is contributing to this aspect of the crisis. Can the WHO, CDC, and NGOs work on donating medical supplies and wear?

  22. @Emily It is also important that the healthcare workers are instructed in how to take the protective equipment OFF. It is very easy to self-contaminate if removal of all the gowns, gloves, boots, etc. is done incorrectly.

  23. @Emily Japan, US, Russia, and lots of oversea Chinese donated those medical consumables but Hubei Red Cross was caught in a scandal weeks back so people don’t want to donate through Red Cross anymore. On the other hand, Taiwan cut all supply of face masks to mainland China even though Taiwan represents 20% of global production. Freaking politics.

  24. Enough with the patronizing articles about how people misjudge risk. People are rightfully worried about this. It is a novel virus with no vaccine or approved treatment. Also, like me, many people may be more concerned with how swiftly this could overwhelm our healthcare system and cause basic government functions to grind to a halt. Telling people not to worry is counterproductive even if the aims are supposedly noble. My partner is HIV positive and I am not and never have been worried about transmission because I understand the science and risk. I’m not one to overreact or group people into categories based on perceived risks or stereotypes. That said, this novel coronavirus has gotten my attention because of the potential societal knock-on effects should it spread in the US and the impact on my partner who is immunocompromised. Continuing to talk down to readers only builds distrust in the media.

  25. @Joe Amen! Thank you. I felt gaslighted by that article. I wish the American journalism stayed focused on facts and let the people make their own judgments about the facts.

  26. @Joe Exactly correct. There are many enormous economic interests at play here: the entire Chinese economy, the Tokyo Olympics, the cruise and travel industry, airlines, etc. Lots of incentive to downplay risk and trickle out bad news here and there to minimize the impact.

  27. @Joe very well said. Thank you for putting this perspective out so eloquently.

  28. In addition to misunderstanding risk, people misunderstand math. Especially concepts like exponential growth and conditional vs marginal probability (e.g., in the case of comorbidities). It would be nice if the article included risk assessments from epidemiologists who know the history, math and science to better assess the situation.

  29. I trust stock markets responses. And markets are rising today. Just heard from the street that oil is set for the largest jump in months. Chinese refineries are buying the low price oil in droves, suggesting that the Coronavirus is contained and under control. And WHO news indicated that the newly adjusted numbers on virus patients won't affect the steady progress made by the Chinese government. This greatly improves the confidence of companies operating factories in China. Then the last hurdle would be when will the anti-virus drugs be developed and ready for the patients.

  30. The WHO had compromised itself by placing political correctness over silence and public policy. And the stock market is just a big confused buffalo stampede that rises and falls with Trump”s tweets. It’s insanity to rely on then stock market as an indicator of this virus.

  31. Meant “science” not “silence.”

  32. @Usok Prepare yourself for a serious case of market whiplash in the coming weeks as Mr. Market in the short term is bipolar and will oscillate between manic and depressive with each news byte or rumor. WHO seems much more concerned about "aligning" their messages to the PRC government perspective then recommending best known practices to mitigate an epidemic and possible world pandemic. Sadly, WHO is an apparatchik mouthpiece and is not focused on helping the Chinese people.

  33. At this point in time, given the response of infected people in other countries, I can only think that China is trying very hard to make this ‘mild’ but highly contagious virus an huge event to save face. Can you imagine the anger that Chinese citizens would have towards the absolutely clumsy and aggressive response the Chinese government took in the absence of experts from around the world. I suggest, medical organizations the world around, reevaluate their positions, calm fears in local populations around and deal with it as yet another new entrant in our world of illness. Absolutely terrifying, those poor people in imprisoned cities and ships must be sick with a multitude of secondary viral and bacterial illnesses. It is time we let seasoned epidemiologists take charge instead of letting politicians run amok trying to manage situations where they are totally out of depth.

  34. @Meena I don't think you grasp the seriousness of this situation. Yes, the CCP is concerned about "face" but I do not think that they are insane enough to continue to light up billions and billions of dollars just to convince everyone that they didn't overreact. Not when they could simply declare a hard won victory through their aggressive measures and move on. They are genuinely terrified. 2% dead and 20% needing ICU is not "mild". If this hits the US in any real numbers, our healthcare system will quickly be overwhelmed. Social order may break down. This is very very serious.

  35. @Student Exactly, social order would break down if people realized that this was not a threatening virus, but the government stalled not just China, but the world. I think saving face is more important than dollars or lives in a politicians mind.

  36. Meanwhile, "The CDC also estimates that as of February 1, about 210,000 Americans have been hospitalized with the flu and 12,000 have died from the illness."

  37. Yes and the coronavirus has a death rate that is higher than the flu and it's more contagious. Which is why major cities are being shut down in response to it.

  38. In Hong Kong apartment, if two people on different floors were infected, then the health workers caused cross contaminated. The thermometer may not have been sterilized properly or gloves not changed.

  39. Or they both used the elevator call button.

  40. @Richard Or it's an airborne virus that went through the ventilation system.

  41. @C I think the Hong Kong apartment building concern derives from a similar transmission of SARS back in 2003. It was thought that a pipe leak passed contaminated fluids from one unit to a lower unit sharing the same pipe.

  42. Checking temperatures as a way of verifying cases is ridiculous. Anyone that does not care about transmitting the virus and that needs to be somewhere despite running a fever will just take advil or fever. How many people are doing this currently until they are not able to control the symptoms and are finally diagnosed?

  43. There are 10 million people in that single city. It is impossible to allocate enough resources for everyone. I am sure it’s the best case that restricting people from going out and use fever as a symptom of being infected just like they did. Of course, I am afraid that even our government cannot guarantee everyone can have professional tests and build a equipped hospital with 2000 sickbeds in six days.

  44. @d bruce That’s the really selfish part of human being. Carry on as normal and healthy to get stuff done before the infection get worse all the while infecting people along the way.

  45. If anyone really trusts to Chinese Government to fully report deaths and infection rates for this disease, they are very naive. There is no way the CCP would give out accurate numbers because it makes them look bad. Experience would dictate that the numbers are much greater, as is being reported by news organizations in Taiwan.

  46. @Trail Reeves What is the point of keep saying about number is not real. If it is not real, ok, but still there are trends. You can add a ratio you assumed, but still, there are TRENDS! At least you can get sth from the numbers

  47. @Grace trends can be faked too. Lots of Chinese joking on social media that “the coronavirus is good at math” since the death rate has consistently been in the 2.1% range every day. The only trend that’s for sure is that infections and deaths are both trending upward.

  48. @jessica Didn't they add 12000 new diagnosed cases in one day a few days ago? What is the purpose of telling the world that? If you say the numbers are under-reported because of they don't have enough test kits that makes sense, deliberately hiding diagnosed number, at this point, when the whole world is knowing about the outbreak. Do they make it 12000 rather than 13000 makes any difference to the readers? Do we remember the number accurate to the last digit?

  49. and when will Chinese government finally ban wild animal markets and eating these animals? Why do we have to feel sorry for people who destroy nature? They know what they are doing. If Europeans started eating bats and mice, we would have the same here.

  50. @Olga I seem to recall one or two Europeans who decided it was a good idea to slaughter all the buffalo in North America.

  51. @Olga China only recently had to nearly wipe out their pig population, because of another virus. So, they're short of meat protein these days. A vegetarian diet might prevent the next virus outbreak there, which seems inevitable, given their current diet. Selling live mammals in wire cages is incredibly cruel, and practiced extensively in SE Asia. I've seen a picture from Vietnam of 10 dogs crammed into a wire cage that fit on the back of a to the live meat market.

  52. @Olga I find your comment offensive. We care because they are people. "They know what they are doing". You talk about an entire country like they are engaged in some perversion. They were shopping and eating like you and me. They were living. So bats and mice(while I should not even have to say this, China does not primarily subsist on bushmeat) are Nature but cows and chickens aren't? Death doesn't happen at the slaughterhouse because you don't witness it? Please also understand that all life, including yours, comes at a cost to other lives. Even if you are vegan, beyond the plants you consume, the agriculture required to feed you has costs for creatures and other plants that might otherwise use that land.

  53. Who can trust Chinese government figures?

  54. @Gene Whitman Likewise, who could trust figures that came out of a country whose leader thinks he can change a map with a Sharpie?

  55. Is there any immunity, after the virus has subsided, for survivors? Shouldn't people in quarantine, in the US, be wearing the protective clothing while living with others in quarantine? I ask, because one of the people in Texas has become symptomatic. It would be reasonable to assume everyone he was in contact with, starting with the flight, is now infected.

  56. @Mike Exposure does not equal infection. When one person in the family has the flu, it is not automatic that the rest of the family will become sick.

  57. @Mike The people in quarantine are isolated from each other. It wouldn't work otherwise, right?

  58. I don't think that is true on the boat. They have told people to stay at least 6 feet away from each other but I don't think there is enough space for that in some of those cabins.

  59. The communist system of suppression has failed with its dealings with the epidemic. But who here in the US thinks they could trust the government to tell the truth and to take care of them if such an epidemic appeared here, as it may? While I condemn the censorship in China, I think we should lend our support as best we can. There is great suffering going on in China right now.

  60. @Liberal Not Lemming I fear we would do worse. We do not have universal health care access. Everyone without access to health care is a risk in an epidemic.

  61. Our hearts and warm wishes go out to China during this very difficult and worrisome time. This truly changes the prospects in our choices for a most competent US president, especially if a Coronavirus pandemic occurs, and reaches the United States. Compare Michael Bloomberg, who has given gargantuan support to the field of public health ...and President Trump, whose policies in cage and quarantine enhancement have achieved notoriety. Perhaps the graduates of Trump University...or the epidemiologists from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health can help you better decide.

  62. I just heard from a vaccine SME that levels of gases emanating from Wuhan suggests cremation of thousands of bodies. Can NYT explore this claim?

  63. What is "a vaccine SME?"

  64. Of course people are in a state of panic - the media is hyping this crisis to the moon - they say people are mis-gauging the risk. Well, it's been on the front page of the times everyday for the last 2 weeks. The flu never gets this hyped. This is just the media feeding it's insatiable appetite for drama

  65. @henrik I hope that you are right, but it seems to me that there is a need to know what is happening, and that is not hype. The leadership in China waited too long to report the severity of the epidemic, which may be part of a global pandemic that is on it's way. The number of health care workers who are infected is an indication that it may be worse than reported. If anything, we need the hype right now in order to protect everyone from this dangerous virus.

  66. @henrik I've yet to see any over hyping of this in any media outlet. If anything it is being minimized. "...the world will have a bad cold..."

  67. @henrik Hyping? This article is a fairly small piece on the front page, not a headline. This may turn out to be a modest event. It may turn out to be a significant global problem. People want to know and ‘the media’ is keeping us reasonably informed.

  68. Rather than snarky comments and propagating rumors, our hearts ought to go out to all Chinese people who are affected by the virus, by the quarantines and by the upheaval in their well as saluting the selfless medical workers who are working nonstop, risking their lives and health and struggling to save lives.

  69. I can cry compassionately and think critically at the same time..

  70. @Confucius People don’t like to admit that some things are beyond our control. It’s easier to point fingers than it is to empathize.

  71. do the editors of NYT think that concern for the implications posed by the Wuhan virus are all in our head? Coronavirus 'could infect 60% of global population if unchecked' The virus is now thought to be aerosolized after six weeks of being told the opposite. for those not paying close attention Covid-19 is most definitely unchecked and increasingly thought to be uncheckable in any time frame that will make a difference—no effective treatments no viable vaccine. Sixty percent of the world population is [rounding up] 8 billion people—sixty percent is 4,800,000,000...let's say 5 billion. The current low ball mortality rate is guesstimated at 2 percent—that would be 100,000,000 dead before the a year is up. In addition to NOT being prepared to "check" the Wuhan virus the world is most decidedly not prepared to cope with 100 million dead over the course of a year. I'd say it is very rational to be very concerned and more so given a media intent on minimizing what is happening.

  72. @Mary Elizabeth Lease The virus was reported to be transmitted by aerosol many weeks ago.

  73. @Sue it wasn't...perhaps you can provide a link to prove otherwise.

  74. @Mary Louise I think you’re right. Apparently, the world’s daily death rate is about 100,000 per day, or 36,450,000 (or so) a year. A death rate of even 2.5 times that (rather than your 100,000,000 additional b/c I think some proportion of the elderly who die of this coronavirus would have died of something else in the same year) would still add about 90,000,000 deaths per year. So, if I’ve done the math correctly, the annual total death rate would be 126,450,000. That would be a massive change.

  75. Yes! Is this point where I say I have been ranting like a lunatic for the past two weeks that blood transfusions would work? This is a cheap and scalable solution to reduce mortality. Plasma transfusions from recovered patients contain the B cells that produce antibodies. Antibodies attach to the viral spikes. This makes it more difficult or even impossible for the virus to infect cells. The antibodies also clump many virus together while chemically tagging the cluster to be destroyed. The question now is if it is memory B cells or active B and T cells from the donor. If it is memory cells then older plasma can be used. If it is active antibody producing B cells then the patient would need plasma from someone who has recovered in the last 7 days. The good news is as long as there is someone who can survive a virus then transfusions are effective even against a virus with a high rate of mutation. Plasma can be donated every two weeks and every plasma donor is a universal donor. Convalescent plasma is a guaranteed antiviral that can be manufactured locally. “a state-owned company under the Ministry of Health, said it had found that administering a round of human antibodies from the survivors to more than 10 critically ill patients caused inflammation levels to drop significantly after 12 to 24 hours of treatment. The company called the use of plasma ‘the most effective method, which can significantly reduce the mortality of critically ill patients.’” :)

  76. No, this is the part where I note that watching monkeys try to make a quantum computer out of sticks and bananas would be a great deal of fun, but not exactly likely to get you a quantum computer.

  77. Medical workers represent 3.8 percent of total confirmed infections. That about the most useless statistic I've ever read. 1) We know confirmed cases are vastly under reporting the spread of the virus. 2) Medical workers are separate high risk population that is simultaneously essential to recovery efforts. We don't care how many medical workers are sick compared to the general population. We care about medical workers sick compared to total medical workers. Is the virus ward in Hubei mostly staffed, half staffed, or less? How does 1,700 infections impact the medical community's ability to respond to the ongoing epidemic? The officially released numbers provide less than zero insight.

  78. This makes SARS-CoV-2 and the disease that it causes, COVID-19. more dangerous to healthcare workers than influenza. As a US healthcare worker, of course this has me concerned. But, I am also a talented scientist, virologist and molecular genetics expert who could help, if anyone tapped me for that. Just sayin'

  79. so the health care workers are wearing the same protective clothing as they move from patient to patient? I don't think I would want to be patient in any of those hospitals.

  80. @Luke All the patients are tested positive for the virus already. These are specific hospitals dedicated for the coronavirus patients.

  81. By ending democracy with Chinese characteristics aka a term limited collective leadership model, Xi Jinping has asserted the Mandate of Heaven Chinese Emperor right to reign and rule until his natural death along with the cult of personality model of Mao Zedong. Xi Jinping's risks seemingly cowardly and weak if he punches down and blames his Hubei Province and Wuhan City underlings for any coronavirus crisis failures. And since Xi has no peers he can't blame his former collective leadership partners. Xi Jinping is the princeling son of a Chinese Long March legend who rose and then was purged by Mao Zedong and then resurrected by Deng Xiaoping. Xi Jinping is as naturally incapable of showing any humble humane empathy for his fellow Chinese human beings citizens as is Donald Trump for his fellow Americans.

  82. Why aren't we sending them masks? If the doctors have no mask this thing is going to get much worse. C'mon US, Canada, EU send them masks and anything else they need. !

  83. @CacaMera If you find a box of masks that aren't made in China, you should send it. C'mon.

  84. @CacaMera Aren't the masks MADE in China? Everything else is.

  85. @CacaMera I heard on NPR, more than 50% of all the masks manufactured in the world come out of China. They said the mask shortage is so acute, hospitals here in the US are cutting back on elective surgeries.

  86. I wish Mike Bloomberg would air some ads pointing out the danger of authoritarian dictatorships like that of China. President Xi, in his zeal to be Emperor, has put not just his own people but all of us in danger. President Trump is trying to emulate Xi and become President for Life. Trump voters need to understand what that would really mean for them.

  87. @lzolatrov As a Trump voter, the upside of "Trump For Life", for the country, Bernie won't mess up the DNC status quo and we won't have to watch Bloomberg ads anymore.

  88. This is a tragedy for China and the world. I'm very sorry for those affected. Xenophobes who don't like global trade are getting their wish. Let's see if they have jobs a year from now.

  89. More people die of hunger every day, and here's the media blowing things out of proportion with the Coronavirus.

  90. You can’t “catch” hunger.

  91. Aren't the masks MADE in China? Everything else is.

  92. "Reporting and research was contributed by . . ." Who are these people? NYT reporters? Where? NYC? Are any in China? Is there ANY independent reporting source in China--AP, Reuters, UPI, BBC, Guardian--anything? Is this all from 'official' Chinese sources? If so, then we don't know anything. The purpose of 'official' sources is to protect the power structure and most of and Leader-For-Life Xi. Who really knows what's happening in China? And, just for reference, right here in the good, old US of A, thousands are dying of seasonal flu. And there IS a vaccine for that!

  93. FOr those like PegeenMike who is banging on that more people die of hunger, I'll put it in perspective Take my area where for the population of 148000 the sole medical facility is a regional operation with a 442 bed hospital - 10 beds in ICU. Closest facility with negative pressure room for quarantine is 275 miles away. Now apply the infective & mortality rates & need for hospitalization for flu vs coronavirus to my area Flu season = about 10% of the population catch it -14,800 1.56% of those infected need hospitalized -231 in hospital over flu season of 4-6 months (maybe 11 patients a week with 7 days in hospital) 1/10th of 1% (1 in 1000) of those infected die - 15 Coronavirus = about 10% seem to be catching it - 14800 20%+ of those infected need hospitalized - 2960 (for up to nearly 4 weeks in some cases) 16% of those ill are in serious condition and need an ICU -2368 2.25% (23 in 1000) DIE - 333 Now tell me again how it is "not serious" when the only 442 bed hospital would be so overwhelmed that *only maybe 1 out 7 who NEED to be in hospital actually admitted * The 2368 that need ICU & oxygen/ventilators would be out of luck with only maybe 10 ICU beds. * that facility could NEVER come up with a few thousand oxygen machines - be lucky to have 100 & less than 25 vents This is not some back-of-beyond poor deprived area. My neighbors include a federal judge, a retired US Senator (D) and, in the summer, Obama's HHS Sec. Sebelius with jaw-dropping house prices

  94. @AnnS Another thing most people fail to take into consideration when criticizing China's failures to produce enough medical supplies and hospital beds is the sheer population, compared to that of the States. Wuhan's population was around 10-11million, compared to NY's 8m+, and the Bay Area's 7m. 8.9mil of those 11mil are in its urban areas. There are Chinese cities that have more people than US States. Imagine if 10+% of the population in a dense US city like New York or SF suddenly became ill with the flu and needed attention at their local hospitals. Now take into account this wasn't a seasonal illness that the local medical system could prepare ahead of time for, and assume that nobody has had a flu shot (since there isn't one for the current nCov-19). Also take into account that testing for this disease isn't instantaneous and takes 2-3 days. This also happened when more than half the country's factory workforce are on an extended holiday. Suddenly it doesn't seem so unreasonable that there might be a shortage of medical supplies/spaces, and that some people who show milder symptoms might need to be temporarily turned away. And those quarantine measures don't seem as "unnecessary" and "draconian" as the media pushes them to be all of a sudden.

  95. 8 planes went into lock down at Heathrow today. One from San Francisco with suspected CV victim on board. Getting realer by the minute

  96. as a NYTimes subscriber, I wish to see more detailed coverage and not just from office Chinese new sources. There are many international news outlets that have reported new cases - in Japan, in Egypt. Verified news. Why isn't NYTimes picking up those to help the public to understand the global situation and its severity?

  97. I get my news from Google. Things in China are not as bad as as is portrayed on the US MSM. The workers biggest gripe is how expensive American pork is. Chinese doctors have a cure for the corona virus, but they don't understand why America won't accept their offer of assistance.

  98. @Mike: I can only surmise, Mike, that your comment is an attempt at satire.

  99. @Lisa Simeone To stay on the good side of the Chinese government, Google agreed to let the Chinese control Google inside China and install firewalls. No one believes the numbers coming out of China. Chinese citizens that depart from the party line go missing. Americans became aware of this in early January. The Chinese knew in December. The first cases probably started in November. I have seen reports of food shortage in Wuhan. There isn't a food shortage of "no food'. The food is not moving thru the supply chain. This, "just in time production", is not endemic to China. It is how the modern world works.

  100. The first confirmed case on the African continent has just been made public (Egypt). While developed countries in Asia and the West have a chance to at least mitigate this epidemic, there are huge swaths in India, Africa and Latin America that do not. If the developed world does somehow conjoin to vanquish this pestilence in the near-term, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see it come roaring back from a different corner of the world, and with a virulence and scale impossible to contain.

  101. The Chinese government is trying to control the narrative but the reality is painting a different picture. For the past three weeks, the Chinese government have refused the US Center for Disease Control's offer to send a working group to China to assist them in tackling the Corona virus. According to CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield yesterday, 2/13: "We do believe that we're the best in the world in this space and we're ready to help and assist them, but they're an independent nation that has to make that decision that they're going to invite us in." Gowns and masks are stockpiled here in the States in great quantity. Some of the best immunologists and medical researchers in the world are willing to help. But it seems to me that political face saving is getting in the way. Save face. Lose lives. In a world so closely entwined with travel and business it is important that solutions for these types of health threats be worked on together. 'When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.' Confucius

  102. @Bill Cullen, Author in today's connected world there is no need to travel to China to do meaningful work on putting a check on the spread of the Wuhan virus.

  103. @Bill Cullen, Author I think there are many spare people in China, but Xi does not feel that he is one of them.

  104. @Mary Elizabeth Lease I disagree. China wants to save face. The CDC would not offer to put a team on the ground in China if it was a waste of time. I will go with what the experts there have to say rather than a random poster's opinion. Again According to CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield yesterday, 2/13: "We do believe that we're the best in the world in this space and we're ready to help and assist them, but they're an independent nation that has to make that decision that they're going to invite us in."

  105. This is exactly what an overwhelmed healthcare system looks like when facing a pandemic style infection. The system gets crushed by the workload, and supplies and other resources get consumed at abnormally high rates.... leading to the necessity of making otherwise imprudent compromises. And here at home.. Americans have bought up all the masks available for sale at local stores, Amazon, etc... even though there is no justification for doing so.

  106. Wake up call. A comment about the condition of the Chinese subway in the pic yesterday made me give it a second look. I am a New Yorker. I was stunned. If it weren't for the masks, this thing looked like something staged for a fashion photo shoot. It looked so clean you could eat off it. In my daily commutes, I have seen things to rival a wet market in NYC. Rats on the tracks. Rats on the platform during rush hour. A diseased or poisoned rat shambling down a platform. Unknown sticky liquids. The list just goes on. We are in big, big trouble. I could imagine a homegrown virus from the vermin. But most of all, if this is what passes for hygiene and sanitation in one of the wealthiest of American cities, what are we going to do when the next epidemic, whatever it is, comes. Never mind that because of inadequate service, people are packed in like sardines. A perfect place for transmission.

  107. @Student This is why Americans, you could argue, are not encouraged to travel abroad. They just might see that other countries have infrastructure that far outweighs what we have in the U.S. And speaking of NYC, it is certainly the city of dreams. But the last time I visited a few years ago, it was distressing to see not only how NYC looked like a dump, but everything around the city, for miles and miles, looked something from a third world country.

  108. @Student I was in China a couple of years ago and what I noticed was the amount of spittle everywhere; on sidewalks, train platforms, buses, toilet cubicles. And don't get me going about children urinating in public and the sunflower seed hulls. So if you think it looks so clean that you can eat off it then be my guest and go ahead.

  109. @Patrick Forgive my indulgence in hyperbole. That said, I assure you that it's urine that I see and smell everyday at the rear of the downtown "1" platform on 34th, and it ain't from children.

  110. As a physician, I say a prayer for those brave health care workers. Be strong and be safe!

  111. @SridharC As a physician, your responsibility, I suggest is to be cognizant of the facts (meager as they are) surrounding this new virus, not fan flames of panic. Those health care workers, if left alone to rest with TLC will do just fine. Problem is will they be allowed peace, or injected with plasma, strange drugs all in an effort to fight what may be exhaustion and a bad cold. Rather a Brobdingnagian approach would you not say?

  112. @Meena I see absolutely nothing wrong with the good doctor’s comment.

  113. @Meena a prayer is just a plea to the One who hears us to keep them safe. Nothing more and nothing less.

  114. I am struck by the range of responses here in the US. I know many highly-educated people who are talking about booking vacations for May or June, as if they can't process that the future might not carry on as normal because (apparently) they feel entitled to it. They seem to think they are owed the right to go anywhere, take a flight or a cruise, etc. And then there is my 82-year-old mother whose parents survived the 1918 pandemic and who, despite having looked forward to an upcoming trip for months, was completely and immediately understanding that the trip might have to be canceled.

  115. @Julian I share your thoughts, as we had planned a Family trip to China in Earl April. So when telling my teenage kids, that most likely we would have to cancel it they looked sad at first. But I reminded them, that this no Problem and we Need to think of the affected people in the country fearing to get sick, fearing for their Friends and relatives in the most affected areas. These people deserve our compassion. So, if the rest of us has to cancel a trip or (Maybe sooner than later) se our stocks taking a hit, then well, lets be a bit humble. In the end, hopefully sooner than later, this Crisis will be overcome by the brave and enduring people in Wuhan, Hubeei and all other afected Provinces and countries. We will thank them. And we will resume our travel plans...for Maybe next year to come visit China and celebrate life.

  116. @Julian Perhaps I am just a contrarian but as long as I limit my plans to Europe or Australia or New Zealand then this is definitely the time to go on vacation. With the advent of cheap airfare, Airbnb and newly enriched countries it seems that any Instagram popular site (just about everywhere) is crawling with tourists. So if this outbreak means I won't have to fight through a mass of people in Venice or the Louvre for the next year or two then I'll take the risk.

  117. @Julian What trip? China - no. Oregon - sure.

  118. So sick of all the experts saying the flu is a bigger threat. If that’s the case, why is China on lockdown, the US quarantining people who’ve been there, airlines canceling hundreds of flights, etc? Looks like it’s the experts who are irrational if they think it’s no worse than the flu but they are quarantining people. We’re not idiots. Stop gaslighting us.

  119. @Celebes sea My guess is that they want to contain it before it has become as unmanageable as primary flu epidemics. An ounce of prevention.

  120. As one health expert said, the key to managing a public health crises is to maintain the trust of the public.

  121. @Celebes sea This is true. None of the 'experts' are doing very expert things. We are just now instituting tests at a few hospitals ; to test for coronavirus if the flu virus tests turn up negative. We should have been doing this from the beginning. They don't know if the virus is spreading here even.. Some of those 'flu' deaths may not be flu at all.

  122. The article mentions healthcare workers not wanting to change out of their protective clothing because they may not get a new set. China is wealthy, so is this... - a global shortage? - a problem the US and global community can help with? - or something else, like a lack of valuing the healthcare workers lives? I am okay with my tax dollars supporting Chinese healthcare workers to try to contain this virus as far forward as possible. We should feel an obligation to help where we can.

  123. @Hayden It is a global shortage. Things can't be moving as fast as we expect. There are 1.3 billion people in China. Now everyone needs for about 100 masks (at least, a N95 mask can be used for only 8 hours). For medical workers, they need for about 3 masks a day. You can do the math...

  124. @Grace Out of curiosity, a week or two ago, I looked into buying some masks on Amazon. Back then a lot of vendors seem to have at least a month time for delivery. And when I looked just now, they are all listed as "currently unavailable."

  125. @Hayden China may not be in the abject poverty they were 40 years ago, but I wouldn't call them wealthy. If they were wealthy, we wouldn't have off-shored so much manufacturing there.

  126. Some good news: By now many doctors and nurses have contracted COVID-19 too. Most of them are recovering and are well now. The good news is, they are immun now, they can not get Corona-Virus infected anymore. When they go back into their jobs at the hospitals they don’t need to use protective gear anymore. This makes work for them very very much easier, protective gear is cumbersome to work in . With a little more time dedicated hospitals for the care of Corona-Virus patients can be staffed by immune health care workers only. Many people are recovering from their Corona-Virus infection. Their immunsystem produces protective antibodies now. They can donate blood, after separation the antibody-rich blood-plasma can be given to any Corona-Virus infected patient with grim prognosis. That should safe many of them

  127. For those readers who have the time, here's a panel discussion with some of the top public health experts in the country (Anthony Fauci, Ronald Klain, Nancy Messonnier), videotaped live just a few days ago, on Feb 11th. The meat of the matter starts at 5 minutes in (after the introductions): "Public Health Grand Rounds at the Aspen Institute presents Coronavirus: The New Pandemic?"

  128. Ron Klein is no expert. He’s a lawyer, well connected and smart.

  129. It is good that US patients in 5 cities with flu-like symptoms who do not test positive for flu will now be tested for Covid. Given that the "flu" is now almost at epidemic levels here, it would be good to be certain that Covid hasn't already arrived, and has been dismissed as flu. On another issue, why does the NYT not report the confirmed case in Egypt (the first in Africa) and the second death in Japan (unless I missed it)? We expect up-to-the-minute news and you are not giving it.

  130. @Julian: You must be missing the updates, Julian, because the NYT reported the case in Egypt before you left your comment. And if you scroll down the page here, you'll still see it.

  131. Gubment run health care at its best. A foreshadowing of Medicare for All here in 'murica.

  132. @JCX See if you still feel that way when you lose your job and have NO insurance.

  133. @JCX You have to admit, building a huge, multi-story hospital in 2 weeks is pretty awesome. If it really was a hospital. And, not a crematorium.

  134. It was basically a prison. Doors locked. Insufficient medical attention. One way out.

  135. According to the message forwarded to Taiwan News, “It’s highly possible to get infected a second time. A few people recovered from the first time by their own immune system, but the meds they use are damaging their heart tissue, and when they get it the second time, the antibody doesn’t help but makes it worse, and they die a sudden death from heart failure.” The source also said the virus has “outsmarted all of us,” as it can hide symptoms for up to 24 days. This assertion has been made independently elsewhere, with Chinese pulmonologist Zhong Nanshan (鍾南山) saying the average incubation period is three days, but it can take as little as one day and up to 24 days to develop symptoms. Also, the source said that false negative tests for the virus are fairly common. “It can fool the test kit – there were cases that they found, the CT scan shows both lungs are fully infected but the test came back negative four times. The fifth test came back positive.”

  136. Worst case scenario. This virus hits the US during election season. Even worse case scenario, President Trump uses the emergency (like all authoritarians use emergencies) to advance an anti democratic agenda.

  137. @Hypoteneus - stop with the conspiracy theories.

  138. To get any credibility in this crisis, China needs to close its own borders to human travel for at least three months. This will not stop the virus from international transmission, but it will slow it tremendously and offer the scientists a bigger chance to develop a vaccine or cure. China also needs to welcome fully the WHO and CDC to its efforts to combating it.

  139. If you catch a bad flu and COVID-19 at the same time, does that worsen your chances?

  140. I would get a flu vaccine.

  141. China is taking so many precautions, quarantining so much. Yet it looks like whack-a-mole.

  142. It is hard for me to fathom what this virus has done to a country of a billion people , who all must be worried or know someone who may know someone sick. If this situation was going on with those numbers in the US, I don't even want to think about the pandemonium that would take place. Let's hope this has a better ending SOON.

  143. I question your maths. Even if the infected cases hits 150 000 in a country of 1500 million, that is still one case in every 10 000 people. The chances of an ordinary Chinese citizen knowing someone who is infected is very low. Enormous populations have enormous numbers of deaths. Probably 20 million a year. In the last six weeks of the infection, at least 2 million people will have died in China. Natural deaths as people reach the end of their life span, cancer, heart attacks, accidents, The COVID deaths so far would only be a flicker in those numbers. That is not to downplay the possible impact of this virus but - so far - it is not a repeat of the Spanish flu. .

  144. Our problem is that few of us can afford our portions of the astronomical bills after a week in a hospital isolation ward. If the US developed antiviral drug works (likely developed with taxpayer gov grants) we will then also be likely charged the highest price globally....... Choice? Not if our employment provides health insurance, other than between narrow and expensive levels. If self-insured, not much choice there either. The ONLY insurance plan that people like is Medicare, .....a 15% overhead savings. Surely since we pay double for worse care there is room for changing to universal coverage. Note: without everyone treated, all of us are put at risk of this epidemic, or the next one.

  145. That is not true that Medicare is the only plan people like, and if you had ever been on Medicare I can only assume you would already know that.

  146. I love my employer based health insurance

  147. Covid-19 simply is not lethal enough to threaten the human race seriously. In a worst case scenario where 60% of the earth's 7 billion people get it and 3% of that 60% dies from it — 128 million will die. The vast majority of them will be elderly. 130 million babies are born every year on earth. The real threat here is to civilization's finer points — economies, stock markets, distribution systems, transportation systems, education systems, whole governments are vulnerable to collapse from panic fueled by fear. This is what China's ruling elite is guided by as well, the fact that fear generates panic and anger. If this becomes a pandemic it will threaten each place on earth in a very different way based on cultural norms in those places which promote calm or generate panic. as well as selfishness vs. altruism. It will be a case study in cultural anthropology.

  148. @Arthur As a member of human race and one which is over 60y/o I say shame on you Arthur if you think that 128 million mostly elderly people is not enough to devastate humanity.

  149. Hopefully, this virus will make an impression significant enough to finally shut down the trade in exotic animals for culinary and ‘medicinal’ consumption...a dangerous practice widespread across Asia and Africa that poses a dire threat to the global community. In the meantime...quarantine should be increased to 30 days...and travel bans/restrictions to and from these regions should be strictly imposed.

  150. China is not equipped to be the second powerful economic power of the world. China still is a developing country. Cheap labors are not qualified China to be a powerful country. China is a paper tiger. China is an overrated country. The outbreak of Coronavirus is the real prove to show China's backwardness.

  151. China is a trading powerhouse, however they don’t have ideas of their own, even the chief concept that is the backbone of their society, communism, was stolen. Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger made a bet and lost. Nevertheless China is not a threat to anyone, they are happy to run a shop and hear the cash register chime and are content with Mao and a dollar.

  152. If you are linking to content that’s not in English, like the 40 min video, it would be nice to show a translation so we can better understand what the citizens are reporting.

  153. Apparently our CDC has dispatched just one advisor to Japan to help the trapped hostages aboard the cruise ship. We should feel reassured for our fellow citizens.

  154. Unmasked: Experts explain necessary respiratory protection for COVID-19 Stephanie Soucheray | News Reporter | CIDRAP News | Feb 13, 2020 Droplet or aerosol infection spread? Surgical mask or respirator? Asymptomatic transmission or symptomatic only? These are the defining questions surrounding the person-to-person transmission of the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19 that have yet to be answered—or answered sufficiently—for US experts monitoring the disease. Yesterday the media reported that a Japanese doctor who was monitoring cruise ship passengers quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess in the port of Yokohama contracted the virus despite wearing gloves and a surgical mask. He joins the more than 500 healthcare workers in Wuhan, China, who have also reportedly contracted the disease—just by the middle of January.

  155. I have read that 1% of critical patients survive. Can the New York Time corroborate that statistic and verify if convalescent patient plasma was given to critical patients and the percentage of critical patients that survived? Also can the New York Times follow up and see if infected blood can be used to create a live vaccine? One would hope that infected blood could be treated to inactivate the virus and create a weak vaccine. UV radiation use to be a common treatment for diseases. UV light can knock down the viral load or disable some anti-interferon genes. Transfusing a lot of blood with viral fragments may provide enough inactive viruses for the adaptive immune system to recognize an infection faster or lower the threshold needed to become active. I also want to know if an infected person with a lot of antibodies and active viruses can have their blood drawn and the total viral load in the blood neutralized outside the body by the current level of B cells in the blood. The tagged viruses are then injected into a healthy person and destroyed by lymphocytes to provide enough viral fragments for the host to become immune. Also do these plasma medicines work for all viral infections? k, thanks.

  156. Xi has irretrievably lost face in front of the entire world with his handling of this latest Chinese pandemic and should resign.

  157. "At least 550,000 cases. Maybe 4.4 million. Or something in between." "Like weather forecasters, researchers who use mathematical equations to project how bad a disease outbreak might become are used to uncertainties and incomplete data, and Covid-19, the disease caused by the new-to-humans coronavirus that began circulating in Wuhan, China, late last year, has those everywhere you look. "That can make the mathematical models of outbreaks, with their wide range of forecasts, seem like guesswork gussied up with differential equations; the eightfold difference in projected Covid-19 cases in Wuhan, calculated by a team from the U.S. and Canada, isn’t unusual for the early weeks of an outbreak of a never-before-seen illness."

  158. We read in the press about China changing the way it counts cases which resulted in a dramatic case increase. In Singapore, medical authorities have decided not to follow China's direction and to continue use of testing kits which China has stopped relying on for case identification, using instead examination by doctors and CT scans. The reasoning in Singapore is said to be that China's way will result in many false positives, enlarging the incidence falsely. It will also miss very mild cases that are not symptomatic or symptomatic enough for persons to seek medical evaluation. The testing kits provide more sensitivity. A factor may be that China's supply of testing kits has run low, Singapore's has not.

  159. A question, if there are doctors around. I am a physicist, not a physician. My understanding is that the critical equipment, which save lives, is a respirator, which helps the sick get through the stage where the lungs are filled with liquid. How expensive is that machine? Do we have in the US a lot of them? Do the Chinese have a lot of them? Are there simpler machines which could be used in an emergency?

  160. If the independent journalists/reporters go missing when they attempt to tell the truth about the scale and severity of this situation, why should we believe the numbers provided by official Chinese channels? Also, how do we account for the possibility that many of the Chinese in Wuhan have never reported to hospitals and are still in their apartments and other homes? Isn't it quite possible that the actual numbers for the coronavirus are much higher than we are being told?

  161. Have there been any reports on Chinese prisons? This might spread rapidly in such an environment.

  162. I fail to see how the masks are of any measurable value against any virus, since they aren't sealed. Maybe their value is in giving the wearer a (false) sense of protection, which, under the circumstances, is understandable. It isn't like a gas mask can be bought at the corner store, even if one could afford it.

  163. @Mary Elizabeth Lease That’s whose comment mine meant to refer to.