Corona Virus, China & Shortage of Masks, Medicos
While the world is worried about containing the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, the situation in China, where it was first detected, remains grim to say least. The Chinese New Year holiday has been extended by another 10 days. No school, office, restaurant, mall, vegetable market or live animal market is open in many parts of China. Wuhan, which is the epicentre of corona virus, remains under a lockdown with deserted roads, and hospitals wearing a quarantined look. There is a serious shortage of masks in all of China as well as a shortage of medical professionals in Wuhan area.   
 
Photos and videos shared by local people on Twitter reveal the grim situation. A tweet by Ray Lau (@fiteray) shows very few people are out on roads in Wuhan's busiest Jianghan Street.
 
 
Ray Lau has also shared photos of hospitals and medical professionals who are fighting the war against corona virus in Wuhan city. One photo shows women medicos going for a haircut before putting up on their protective gear for duty.
 
 
Another person, Anton (@iamneilstrong), shared photos sourced from a Colombian friend studying at Qingdao University which shows closed roads to and from Wuhan in the Hubei province. 
 
 
Here is what noted film director Shekhar Kapur has shared about supermarket in Hong Kong.
 
 
At the same time, many medical professional have come forward to treat patients in Wuhan. 
 
 
However, the shortage of qualified medicos has led to massive exhaustion among medical professionals who are already in hospitals. Most of them are staying at the hospital itself for two reasons—to avoid exposing their family members to the virus because of the shortage of man power in hospitals. 
 
Photos shared by Ray Lau tells the story...
 
 
Even super markets in Shanghai wear a deserted and empty look.
 
 
As I mentioned earlier, there is a huge shortage of masks in entire China. The country has a population of about 1.3 billion and everyone wants a mask. Since most masks are made of paper, they need daily replacement. Heavier-duty respirators like the N95 masks are used by health care workers. But those too are in short supply. 
 
There is a video uploaded by CGTN on YouTube that shows a civilian leaving a box of about 500 masks one the counter of a police station in east China’s Anhui Province and running away without a word. Two policemen chase him just to give him a salute in appreciation for his humanitarian gesture. 
 
 
Chinese health authorities had said the death toll due to the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country has increased to 132, with 5,974 confirmed cases in 31 provincial-level regions.
 
According to a report from South China Morning Post, there were 1,771 new infections in mainland China on Tuesday—the biggest one-day jump since the outbreak started in December.
 
Quoting, Zhong Nanshan, a respiratory expert and head of a national panel set up to deal with the crisis, the report says that the outbreak might peak in the next week or 10 days and that the fatality rate was expected to fall.
 
Li Xingwang, chief specialist at Beijing Ditan Hospital’s infectious diseases unit, told the newspaper that existing data suggested that patients with mild cases needed about a week to recover, while those with more serious symptoms required two weeks or longer.
 
Separately, a report by the University of Southampton's WorldPop team has found Bangkok is currently the city most at risk from a global spread of the virus -- based on the number of air travellers predicted to arrive there from the worst affected cities in mainland China.
 
Hong Kong is second on the list, followed by Taipei (Taiwan) and China. Sydney (12), New York (16) and London (19) are among the 30 other major international cities ranked in the research. India is at the 23rd place. 
 
According to the report published in WorldPop, within China, the cities of Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Chongqing are all identified as high-risk by the researchers, along with the Chinese provinces of Guangdong, Zhejiang, Sichuan and Henan.
 
The situation, although quite grim in China, also gives some hope for patients of corona virus. On 28th January, an 87-year old lady, who was infected with the novel coronavirus, was cured and released from a hospital in Wuhan.
 
 
After the outbreak of coronavirus, the Chinese government has extended New Year holiday for 10 more days. The municipal corporation in Shanghai released an advisory, which says, the city establishments would remain closed till 9 February 2020. All education institutions, including schools, colleges and universities would remain closed till 17 February 2020 and would be opened only after determining scientific assessment based on relevant epidemic prevention and control situation, the release shared by a person from Shanghai states.
 
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