Wuhan Sends 34,000 Gov't Workers to Help Fight Coronavirus

Wuhan is currently isolated in order to contain the epidemic burst that has resulted in a total amount of 18,454 positive infection cases.

More than 34,000 public servants, government workers and members of the Communist Party of China were mobilized to the 1,100 Wuhan communities to slow down the coronavirus burst. 

RELATED: China: Wuhan Expands Controls by Closing Residential Complexes

The municipal committee of the  Communist Party of China reported that the number of workers included 16,700 employees of government institutions and state-owned companies, who will join community workers in the neighborhoods that are most affected by the virus.

Alongside them will work another 17,700  government employees, who were tasked with the objective to help and diminish the virus presence in some remote towns and villages.

Wang Bi, a local functionary said: “The government workers and the Communist Party of China members, who arrived to help, are working with other community workers to disinfect the neighborhoods and check the temperature to the residents”. Also, workers do preventive interventions and offer support to elderly residents.

As Chen Rongzhuo affirmed, an expert in community management and professor at the Central Chinese Normal University, “the epidemic prevention work in communities is key to winning the battle against the new coronavirus”.

Wuhan is currently isolated in order to contain the epidemic burst that has resulted in a total amount of 18.454 positive infection cases.

Last Sunday, of the 3,371 residential communities, a total of 10.59 million people had been inspected for 99 percent revision.

This new mobilization takes place at a time when community workers in urban spaces are facing a lack of personnel for the search tours.

  • Published in World

China: Wuhan Expands Controls by Closing Residential Complexes

Spraying public sites and reducing mobility are other measures to halt the diffusion of the coronavirus.

China’s health authorities Tuesday strengthened the quarantine in Wuhan by closing all existing residential complexes inside the city.

RELATED: President Xi Vows to Win People's War Against New Coronavirus

According to the municipal government's new guidelines, all urbanizations will be sealed to minimize the flow of people among the various areas of the city.

To achieve the above, the urbanizations will be surrounded by fences that will impede traffic but will not prevent the receipt of food orders and other household goods.

Wuhan is the epicenter of the pneumonia epidemic caused by the new coronavirus and keeps its nine million inhabitants in quarantine since January 23.

Simultaneously, the municipal government is carrying out a large-scale disinfection operation whereby streets and other public places are disinfected twice a day to contain the coronavirus diffusion.

The local authorities also indicated that all buildings with confirmed or suspected cases of pneumonia should be sealed and managed "strictly".

All people who have a fever or other coronavirus-related symptoms should seek medical attention at the nearest health center and not go to health facilities in other districts.

If people must be admitted and the health center does not have enough beds, the clinic must find a place in the neighborhood where the observation period can take place.

Chinese authorities asked citizens to "actively support" these measures and to deter those who "interfere and hinder" their application.​​​​​​​

Until Tuesday morning, Wuhan recorded 43 percent of Chinese pneumonia cases (18,454 people) and 74 percent of patients killed by the coronavirus (748 people).​​​​​​​

 

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Australian scientists create lab-grown coronavirus in effort to develop vaccine and eventual cure (VIDEO)

Scientists in Australia have successfully grown the coronavirus from a patient sample which they will now distribute to other disease control experts with a view to speeding up development of a vaccine and, hopefully, a cure.

The team created the cell culture from a patient sample that arrived at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne on Friday, and this can now be replicated and distributed for more in-depth analysis around the world.

Watch: Wuhan coronavirus in culture....

It will now be used as a control – or more specifically as an antibody test on asymptomatic patients – in Australian public health laboratories, as well as being shipped to experts working with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Europe. One of the main problems with containing the recent outbreak is that people can have – and pass on – the virus for up to a fortnight before showing symptoms.

The lab-grown coronavirus was dubbed “a major breakthrough” by Dr. Julian Druce, the institute’s virus-identification laboratory head, as it will allow for more accurate diagnosis around the world and afford scientists more insights to beat the disease. 

While China did release the genome sequence of the virus, having an actual sample will allow researchers around the world to validate and verify their testing methods and thus improve diagnosis.

Also on rt.com China’s PM calls for ‘resolute fight’ against coronavirus outbreak as death toll climbs to 106 with over 1,700 new cases...

It will also allow researchers to determine the “true mortality rate” of the virus, says the Doherty Institute’s deputy director Dr. Mike Catton, while also helping with the development of trial vaccines. A team at the University of Queensland in Australia has been tasked with developing such a vaccine, and hopes to do so within six months.

Worldwide around 6,000 people have been infected with the virus which has so far killed at least 130 people in China.

Here's The Science on How Serious The Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak Actually Is

How serious is the coronavirus outbreak? What are its symptoms and how contagious is it? Experts studying the new virus still have key questions to answer before they can assess its danger.

The toll so far

As of Tuesday, more than 4,500 cases have been confirmed in China, its country of origin, of which 106 have been fatal. Several cases have been detected in Asian countries, as well as a few in Australia, France and the United States.

So far, no-one outside China has died, but both Germany and Japan on Tuesday confirmed cases of human-to-human transmission of the disease.

2019-nCoV, as it has been named, is part of the coronavirus virus family, the source of two previous fatal epidemics.

The 2002/03 SARS outbreak (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) started in Beijing and killed 774 people out of a total 8,096 infected.

The 2012 MERS outbreak (Middle East respiratory syndrome) killed 858 people out of the 2,494 infected.

So those outbreaks had significantly different mortality rates of 9.5 percent and 34.5 percent respectively.

In general however, those hit by the new virus "are in a less serious condition than with SARS", said Yazdan Yazdanpanah, head of infectious diseases at Paris Diderot University.

"For the moment, the mortality rate is less than five percent", he added.

Symptoms

Chinese scientists reported in The Lancet Friday that, based on a study of 41 early-detected cases, some of the new virus's symptoms resemble those of SARS.

All patients had pneumonia, most had a fever, three-quarters of them were coughing and more than half had trouble breathing.

Despite this, lead author Bin Lao added: "there are some important differences", such as a lack of runny noses, sneezing or sore throats.

The average age of the 41 patients studied was 49, most of them having visited Wuhan market, identified as the source of the outbreak. Nearly a third of them had serious breathing difficulties and six of them died.

All this gives a preliminary sketch of the new virus, even if one has to be cautious about drawing conclusions based on such a small sample.

The study is all the more important because a current epidemic of flu, which has similar symptoms, has made isolating patients of the new virus difficult.

Contagion

Scientists at Britain's Imperial College estimate that each coronavirus patient infects on average 2.6 others - making it roughly as infectious as annual influenza outbreaks.

Ma Xiaowei, head of China's National Health Commission, said that transmission of coronavirus was possible during the disease's incubation period.

That means that someone who is sick with coronavirus would be able to pass it on to someone else even if they aren't yet displaying any symptoms.

This working hypothesis is yet to be fully confirmed, however.

"In my view it is premature to conclude, on the basis of the evidence currently available, that the new virus can be transmitted before symptoms appear," said Mark Woolhouse, professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, University of Edinburgh.

Origins

Researchers think the new virus probably came from bats, as the SARS virus did, with which it shares 80 percent of its genetic makeup.

But we still don't know which animal passed it on to humans. Last week a Chinese team suggested it could be a snake, but that was immediately challenged by other experts, who think a mammal is the more likely culprit.

Identifying which animal it was could help fight the outbreak.

With SARS, it turned out to be a civet, whose meat is very popular in China.

Banning the consumption of civet and closing their breeding farms helped stop SARS from making a comeback, says Arnaud Fontanet of the Pasteur Institute in Paris.

On the other hand, one reason it was harder to stem the MERS outbreak is because it came from dromedary camels, a widely used working animal.

Precautions

Health authorities and scientists say the same precautions against other viral illnesses can be used: wash your hands frequently, cover up your coughs, try not to touch your face.

And anyone who does come down with the virus should be placed in isolation.

"Considering that substantial numbers of patients with SARS and MERS were infected in health-care settings", precautions need to be taken to prevent that happening again, the Chinese team warned in The Lancet.

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