Coronavirus Doubling Every 4 Days: On Track For Disaster

With infections doubling every 4 days, China goes house to house to round up sick

| Feb 7, 2020

Kaiser Health News – China is now quarantining infected patients in enormous centers in a desperate attempt to make progress in the war against the fast-spreading coronavirus.

There’s a growing sense within the city that its residents are being sacrificed for the greater good of China.

“There must be no deserters, or they will be nailed to the pillar of historical shame forever,” said Vice Premier Sun Chunlan. There are now at least 636 deaths from the illness and 31,161 cases.

Potential for exponential pandemic with doubling every four days 

  • Day 1, 2/7/2020, 31,161 cases 
  • Day 9, 2/15/2020, 124,644 cases 
  • Day 17, 2/23/2020, 498,576 cases 
  • Day 25, 3/2/2020, 1,994,304 cases
  • Day 33, 3/10/2020, 7,977,216 cases 
  • Day 41, 3/18/2020, 31,908,864 cases 
  • Day 49, 3/26/2020, 127,635,456 cases 
  • Day 57, 4/4/2020, 510,541,824 cases
  • Day 65, 4/12/2020 2,042,167,296 cases 
  • Day 73, 4/20/2020 8,168,669,184 cases (exceeds world population)

Coronavirus news roundup for Feb 7, 2020 

The New York Times: China Tightens Wuhan Lockdown In ‘Wartime’ Battle With Coronavirus
The Chinese authorities resorted to increasingly extreme measures in Wuhan on Thursday to try to halt the spread of the deadly coronavirus, ordering house-to-house searches, rounding up the sick and warehousing them in enormous quarantine centers.

The urgent, seemingly improvised steps come amid a worsening humanitarian crisis in Wuhan, one exacerbated by tactics that have left this city of 11 million with a death rate from the coronavirus of 4.1 percent as of Thursday — staggeringly higher than the rest of the country’s rate of 0.17 percent. (Qin, Myers and Yu, 2/6)

The Associated Press: New Virus Has Infected More Than 31,400 People Globally
A viral outbreak that began in China has infected more than 31,400 people globally. The latest figures reported by health authorities as of Friday in Beijing:— China: 636 deaths and 31,161 confirmed cases on the mainland.

In addition, Hong Kong has had 22 cases, including one death. Macao has had 10 cases. Most of the deaths have been in central Hubei province, where illnesses from the new type of coronavirus were first detected in December. (2/7)

The Wall Street Journal: Beijing Faults U.S. Stance On Coronavirus
Beijing has publicly criticized the U.S. for days over its response to the dangerous coronavirus, despite working in the background with American authorities and accepting U.S. aid to contain its spread in China.

In an indication the tension and rhetoric aren’t derailing relations, China took a step Thursday toward implementing a trade deal the two counties signed last month, saying it would cut tariffs on some U.S. goods. (Areddy, 2/6)

The Hill: Trump Discusses Coronavirus With China’s Xi
President Trump on Thursday spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping about the coronavirus after officials said more than 600 people had died from the disease in China.

“President Trump expressed confidence in China’s strength and resilience in confronting the challenge of the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak,” a White House spokesman said in a statement. “The two leaders agreed to continue extensive communication and cooperation between both sides.” (Samuels, 2/6)

The New York Times: As Coronavirus Spreads, Mask Makers Go Into Overdrive
The relentless whir of machines echoing across a cavernous French factory floor this week is an unexpected result of the deadly virus that has nearly paralyzed cities in China and other parts of Asia. The company, Kolmi Hopen, happens to make an item that is suddenly one of the world’s hottest commodities: the medical face mask.

The factory, in Angers, typically makes around 170 million masks a year, but in the last week orders arrived for a staggering half a billion, flooding the sales department’s inboxes at the rate of one every two minutes. (Alderman, 2/6)

The Wall Street Journal: How China Built Two Coronavirus Hospitals In Just Over A Week
China on Thursday completed the second of two new hospitals in Wuhan, the city at the heart of the coronavirus outbreak, in a matter of days to help combat the fast-spreading virus. The outbreak is straining the resources of Wuhan’s front-line hospital staff, who have been forced to turn patients away because of a lack of beds and basic supplies. (Wang, Shu and Umlauf, 2/6)

Reuters: China Virus Forces White Collar Class To Work From Home
In a nation unaccustomed to widespread working from home, China’s coronavirus epidemic is forcing millions of white-collar workers to get used to business outside the office. With millions of companies keeping staff away to curb contagion, demand is surging for chat apps that employees are adjusting to use from living rooms, kitchens and home offices. (Horwitz, Yang and Tham, 2/7)

The New York Times: ‘I Keep Hearing Painful Coughs’: Life On Quarantined Cruise Ship
Things were looking up on Thursday for the more than 2,000 passengers quarantined on a cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan: Meals were coming on a more regular schedule.

The internet was upgraded to a wider bandwidth. And there was even official approval to breathe some fresh air. Still, on the second day of a planned two-week quarantine, there was persistent concern about the spreading coronavirus and dread about long days ahead stuck inside the cabins. (Kwai, 2/6)

The Wall Street Journal: Japan Reports 41 New Coronavirus Infections On Quarantined Cruise Liner
The Diamond Princess is docked in the port of Yokohama and passengers have been told to remain in their cabins for a two-week quarantine period. Between passengers and crew, there are about 3,700 people aboard. (Gale and Bhattacharya, 2/7)

Reuters: Hong Kong Residents Hoard Toilet Paper, Noodles As Coronavirus Fears Mount
Panicky Hong Kong residents scooped loads of tissues and noodles into supermarket trolleys on Friday despite government assurances that supplies would be maintained during an outbreak of a new coronavirus that emerged in mainland China last month.

Hong Kong has had 24 cases of the virus, and one of only two deaths outside mainland China where almost 640 people have died in the outbreak. (2/7)

Bloomberg: Coronavirus Threat Looms Over Africa’s Fragile Health Systems
The rapidly spreading coronavirus has wreaked havoc across much of the developed world, yet not a single case has been confirmed so far in Africa — the continent that’s least equipped to deal with the epidemic. Health officials are still bracing themselves for the worst. (Kew, Herbling, and Gebre, 2/7)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.