'Please, Help Us!': Supply Shortages Rock Wuhan As Outbreak Overwhelms Chinese Healthcare System

Summary: Here’s a glimpse of new virus-related developments that occurred overnight.

  • Total number of confirmed cases now 900+, 26 dead.
  • China restricts travel for 40+ million people as the death toll surges.
  • Two deaths have been reported outside Wuhan.
  • Some residents displaying symptoms are being turned away from hospitals.
  • Hospitals in Wuhan make urgent pleas for help and supplies.
  • UK and US governments tell citizens to avoid outbreak zones.

* * *

Asian markets closed on Friday for the Lunar New Year holiday, which officially begins on Saturday. But in China, the Communist Party leadership are scrambling to contain the virus as 13 cities in Hubei Province are now under quarantine, meaning more than 40 million Chinese will be forced to spend the holiday week at home, the South China Morning Post reports.

Health authorities reported 66 more suspected cases overnightas a result of broader criteria for people showing symptoms, bringing the total number of suspected cases to 236 as of Friday morning in Hong Kong. Among those cases, more than 100 are now in isolation. Across China, Hong Kong and Macau, authorities have closed schools and suspended the start of the new semester. Even Disneyland Shanghai has announced plans to close for the holiday.

As authorities in Beijing try to convince the world that they have the outbreak under control, researchers in the US and UK have warned that the total number of cases might be closer to 4,000, according to the New York Times.

South Korea and Japan have each confirmed their second cases, while the US worries that a second case may have been discovered in Texas.

Though it’s slightly out of date, this map is the most up-to-date accounting of the geographic dispersion of the virus.

S&P Global Ratings has issued a statement claiming that, if the situation worsens, the outbreak could knock 1.2 percentage points off China’s GDP. Yet, as the number of cases explodes despite the travel ban, the World Health Organization is insistent that the situation hasn’t risen to the level of a global pandemic – at least not yet.

Back in Wuhan, the center of the outbreak, conditions are deteriorating rapidly. Video purportedly showing the hospital at the center of the outbreak paints a picture of widespread misery as health care workers collapse on their feet, infection rates explode even among those responsible for treating patients. Local media has also reported that there aren’t enough testing kits and medical workers available to diagnose new cases.

There have even been reports of patients showing concerning symptoms being turned away from hospitals. Nice to see that their good ol’ socialized health care system is clearly so well-prepared for such an outbreak. Desperate for money and supplies, hospitals in Wuhan have resorted to begging the government and the public for help.

In the meantime, reports claim that China’s censors are removing all frightening videos from domestic social media outlets. There have been reports of people in Shanghai and in Wuhan being herded into makeshift quarantine camps erected near hospitals around the country. In some places, authorities are scrambling to build whole new hospital wings as fast as they can. Chinese officials are scrambling to build a whole new hospital in just five days.

While they’ve disappeared from the Chinese Internet, videos showing sick or collapsing patients and health-care workers are flooding US social media.

Especially for those who have been turned away, the mood on the streets of Wuhan is turning into full blown panic as hundreds of worried patients plead with hospitals for help. ‘Please help us’ the city’s leadership begged as it implored its neighbors for help.

Typically, LNY is the most important holiday in China and celebrations typically begin the night before, which this year is Friday night.  Chinese who work typically make it home in time to prepare a meal of fried dumplings and sticky rice cakes before hosting reunion dinners with family. At midnight, Chinese typically set off firecrackers to ring in the new year.

But this year, an anxiety-laden quiet is expected instead.

“We won’t have a new year celebration tonight. There’s no feeling for it, and no food,” a Wuhan resident named Wu Qiang, told the NYT.

Qiang added that his family is so on edge, that a simple sneeze from his son set off alarm bells at home.

“I think he’s O.K., but now even an ordinary sneeze makes you worry,” Mr. Wu said. “You start to think every cough or sneeze might be the virus.”

Another woman put it more bluntly.

“Today should be the Chinese people’s happiest day,” she said, “but this sickness has destroyed that feeling.”

Whatever impact the virus had on markets seemed to reverse after the WHO decided not to label the virus a global pandemic. But as the videos and images flooding out of China look increasingly concerning, one analyst warned that the massive response to suppress the virus could be a double-edged sword.

After the State Department issued, then retracted, a travel warning yesterday, the American Embassy in Beijing advised travelers from the US to avoid Hubei Province and the surrounding area. The notice was classified as a Level 4 advisory, the most serious travel warning issued by the US government: Other Level 4 warnings issued by the State Department cover travel to Syria, North Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, Venezuela and Yemen, among other places.

In the US, infections have popped up in Washington State and in Texas, where a student at Texas A&M is believed to have been infected.

“Drastic steps, such as city-wide quarantine measures, can be a double-edged sword when it comes to market impact,” ING senior rates strategist Antoine Bouvet wrote in morning note. “On the one hand they signal the authorities are taking the problem seriously and help containment, on the other hand, they help paint a dramatic picture to investors unfamiliar with dealing with this sort of risk.”

via zerohedge

6 comments

  1. this is the system that warren and the rest of the socialist-marxists want for america… the communist governments only worry about funding killing systems not healing methods. people are cheap, missiles and bombs are not..

  2. I do not care for the Communist government, or their way of treating their own citizens. However, this is about the people of China who need help. IMO the United States should offer medical supplies, the sooner the better. JMO

    1. honestly i think its the UN who should offer aid and not just the USA after China Constantly attacks our money system and our way of earns and steals from us and cyber attacks no this is a UN issue. I tired of the USA always being the bail out piggy bank! Isn’t our deficit high enough????????? Maybe they will learn next to not fuck with the giant!!!!!!! This God’s way of punishing the greedy thieves in china? Let the UN do its job???????

  3. it would be very rare if any supplies sent by america reached the actual people in need before total inspection by the communist commissars in the affected area. this would be a face-slap to the communist health system,meaning they were insufficiently protecting their people.

  4. I just read today that it has spread to 22 countries, much more than mentioned here. The morbidity (illness rates) and mortality (death rates) are being under-reported — not just in China, but here in the USA. The CDC downplayed the seriousness of the situation when it told Trump he could tell us not to worry.

    Here is an interesting tidbit not being shared by the mainstream media (along with the true numbers of mortality and morbidity). Apparently a case (or cases, which have not been reported as of yet) occurred as a result of exposure to body fluids, so it’s not just respiratory. Truthfully, it would be easier to contain if it was limited to body fluids — respiratory excretions are much more difficult to control.

    They said, in the article that people are now wearing N-95 masks, along with protective goggles to prevent the splash of body fluids into the eyes. This infection is much more serious than SARS and MERS (also of the coronavirus family) because it spreads so easily from person to person.

    FOR INFECTION CONTOL, AS AN RN, I RECOMMEND THE FOLLOWING:
    1) Excellent hand-washing hygiene. Do not touch your eyes or mouth after contact with public objects. Wash thoroughly and frequently with soap, water, and lots of friction.
    2) Wear an N-95 mask in public, especially in large areas that are very congested. Avoid public play areas for children like the ones you see at the mall.
    3) Consider protective goggles.
    4) Be aware that symptoms may not show up for 3-17 days after exposure; a person can be contagious without a fever or other symptoms. This was evidenced by a woman in the US.

    NOTE: Symptoms can be confused initially with the common cold (no fever) and the flu. If you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and wear a mask to prevent further spread.

    Anyone can get this, but apparently the elderly, immunocompromised, chronic disease, and the very young are more susceptible to the serious sequelae from this illness.

    There is no cure; it is currently being treated symptomatically to prevent worsening. The powers that be are working on a vaccination, which is the best way to deal with viruses (that explanation is part of another story). Ignore the no-vaxxers and get yourself vaccinated once it becomes available.

    I wish I could share the link, but it was difficult to find. I will have to do more research. In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy, and may G-d have mercy on our souls.

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