Chinese media: Virus much worse than admitted

Via CCP foghorn, Global Times, a little truth telling slipping out:

It has become a crucial moment in the fight against the novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) for Wuhan, Hubei Province, the epicenter. The virus so far caused over 30,000 infections nationwide and 811 deaths, as local authorities urged to bring everyone together who needs corresponding treatment while no delay would be tolerated.

The central government has dispatched 11,921 medical staff from different regions to support Wuhan, where the NCP originated and the number of infection cases accounted for about half of the total cases in Hubei with the highest death rate. Given an increasingly severe situation, the high-level expert team sent by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to oversee the epidemic prevention and control work urged local authorities to put anyone infected or suspected to be infected into quarantine, which should be conducted immediately.

The inflection point of the outbreak that some Chinese and foreign experts had forecast has not emerged yet, despite the number of new infection cases nationwide has been dropping for the third consecutive day on Sunday, according to media reports. However, the accumulated number of cases in Hubei and Wuhan has continued climbing since the city lockdown. The capital city of the province reported 14,982 cases as of Sunday, with the death rate hitting 4.06 percent.

There are in total 23,638 suspected cases within which 12,918 in collective quarantine. Some 123,827 people who had close contact with infected patients are under close watch in Hubei. However, the number of suspected cases and close contacts under observation in Wuhan are still unknown.

A pledge to fulfill

Jiang Chaoliang, secretary of the Hubei Provincial Committee of the CPC, urged on Saturday to implement “wartime shift measures” of 24 hours a day to coordinate epidemic control work to deal with issues such as medical treatment, transport, and security and material supplies. More importantly, local authorities and communities must take four categories of people to treatment as soon as possible, including confirmed patients, suspected patients, people with fever and close contacts. All signs reflect that the battle against the deadly disease has entered a crucial phase. The top authorities also urged that no one would be left behind, and “four categories people” policy should be thoroughly carried out.

“This is like a military decree,” a frontline doctor from Tongji Medical College at Huazhong University of Science & Technology, who preferred not to be named, told the Global Times on Sunday. As it’s a crucial moment after more than two weeks of city lockdown, the top-down order requires Wuhan and Hubei to win this battle, he noted.

The battle against the NCP enters a “decisive period” as potential patients shall pass the incubation period since Wuhan lockdown from January 23, Yang Zhanqiu, deputy director of the pathogen biology department at Wuhan University, told the Global Times on Sunday.

However, the epicenter has been facing mounting pressure as the numbers of infection continue surging and severe supply shortages in terms of medical resources heavily weigh on the overall treatment conditions in the city.

“Even though hospitals and beds increased in the city, those who have minor symptoms still cannot receive proper quarantine and treatment timely,” Yang said. Their condition could worsen.

Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University officially took over Leishenshan hospital, the newly built facility to treat NCP patients in severe and critical condition, on Sunday, which is expected to offer 1,600 beds.

In total 28 designated hospitals in the city have expanded supply of beds to 8,895, with Huoshenshan and Leishenshan special hospitals created to offer 2,600 beds and three “Fang Cang” makeshift hospitals providing in total 4,250, as well as Party schools and city colleges renovated to supply 5,400, the total available hospital bed supply in the epicenter could reach 21,145, local media reported during the weekend, citing government officials.

A Wuhan resident (left) infected with the coronavirus awaits transport to quarantine from Wuchang district on Sunday. Top authorities are urging the Central China city to round up the infected as quickly as possible to cut off contagious channels during the outbreak. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

Challenges remain

Wuhan has so far reported confirmed cases of infection without disclosing numbers of suspected cases and of close contacts while many suspected cases still need to be confirmed through either nucleic acid tests or computed tomography (CT) imaging tests, and some analysts and sources close to the matter predicted the actual number of infection would far exceed the current reported ones.

“Putting together everyone that needs proper treatment is not a difficult task, but how to treat patients effectively remains a question. Also, whether we could treat all those in critical condition in hospitals where they are all saturated, I highly doubt it,” the doctor from Tongji said.

Local authorities have also implemented strict community grid management to mobilize a large number of residential community workers to carry out tasks such as check residents’ body temperatures and register information household by household – the first time since the outbreak – to screen out all the people who need to be put under observation as soon as possible.

In some communities, dozens of community workers including social workers, volunteers and civil servants dispatched by other public institutions, have to serve over 7000 residents, reporting their health condition to decide whether some residents need to be put in collective quarantine. Some extra work also includes allocating daily necessities for some patients who cannot go out for shopping.

Some community workers have been highly stressed due to excessive work and facing growing risks of being infected while such unprecedented prevention and control work at grass-root level also brought challenges to workers who are not professional medical staff.

Hu Mingrong, community Party secretary of Jiangxinyuan in Hanyang district, received phone calls nonstop on Sunday, writing down information of residents she covered, despite having a numb throat, the Global Times reporter saw.

In each street and community, over 10,000 civil servants like her strived to make sure no one would be left out, which is also work that has never been done before in a city with 10 million people.

“If we could finish this task tonight, the most dangerous contagious channel could be cut off,” a local observer on the matter told the Global Times, noting that the task included all confirmed patients in critical situation, suspected patients and patients with mild symptoms can be properly settled by midnight tonight.

David Llewellyn-Smith

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  1. It’s getting kinda worrying when the death count on a day old article is off by 100.

    It’s flying past SARS. 905.

    I’ve personally seen shelves decimated in Coles in Melbourne too. Sanitary products.

    I think the shortages are likely to hit us first.
    LOTS of our stuff – even stuff mostly made here is finished off in China.

    Rumours that Germany has run out of precursors for drugs too – because they’re from China.

    Just In Time manufacturing for the win!

    • Goldstandard1MEMBER

      +1 and AUD in the toilet. Finally we’ll make stuff again.
      Oh and maybe also solidify the fact that we should be growing all of our food here, with the money also staying here.

      • On the up side, we do grow more food than we need.

        It’s the processing afterwards that’s going to be interesting. How much of it is sent off for packaging in China?
        I’ve seen frozen berries iirc “Grown in NZ, packaged in China”

        • Usually they are grown in China and packaged in NZ and thus magically become “Made in NZ” That little trick has been going on for ages.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        I’ve now got 600 cans of Baked Beans (in ham sauce) stockpiled now.
        Reckon the price of these tins is gunna take of like Bitcoin in a few weeks time.
        My goal is to stockpile 2 to 3000 cans.
        Don’t worry about me though I’ve got plenty of ammo to protect my investment.

        • You may as well stock up on some condiments and some canned tuna.
          I see farts in your future …. LOTS of farts.

        • EP, I reckon you’ve gone wrong at the ham sauce. Regular baked beans will be bitcoin. The ham sauce may have your investment more like silver. 🙂

          • TailorTrashMEMBER

            Ermo is being very strategic with the ham sauce …..certain ethnic types in his neighbourhood prone to a little ultra violence will not be interested in his stash ….

        • BTW avoid the salt free baked beans. Had those once by accident when out in the bush on a trek. Was gagging the whole way through the tin.
          The only thing salt free baked beans will be useful for is as a defensive projectile.

        • +1. hear rumors that Coles Woolies etc struggling to restock both local (due to china inputs) and offshore stock

      • Lenny Hayes for PMMEMBER

        Exports of Aussie lobsters to China have crashed which is a huge win for Aussie consumers able to purchase quality products from their own backyard !.

        Except no, the license holders won’t make enough money so no local lobsters for Aussies 🙁

        • Yep. I read they are going to start throwing the catch back rather than sell on the local market at a cheaper price;

    • Get ready for widespread food shortages too, this is just the beginning unfortunately as we head into depression

        • I’ve frozen about 20kg of Bowen mangos from this season’s crop. Loads of avos have set. Another 40kg to process and plenty fruit on trees – relish/chutneys/pickles too.
          Lots of bananas about.
          The pecans have set well.
          Mulberries on track.
          Loads of citrus.
          Have added canned food to emergency kit.

          • Perhaps we’ll get back to bottling( the old fowlers vacola set)
            I remember my grandmother who went from very privileged child ( house in country, town house in Carlton, outfits worn once only )to dirt poor. ) She bottled absolutely everything that came from her vegetable garden and small home orchard. Made sauces, jams and pickles as though her life depended on it. And swapped produce, both bottled and fresh with neighbours. Those habits lasted a lifetime.

          • @js

            Besides that, it’s damned fun.

            I’ve made some cracking ruby grapefruit marmalade, dried bananas, the list goes on

        • John you’ll have to grow your own apples for apple pie. Or physical cash notes and coins and little pieces of gold will buy you
          You either grow or hold tangible money

          • Dang. I ordered 10 cans of tomato the other day from woolies and looking life milk. Thought i was going overbroad. Perhaps i should get some more canned food.

          • Divya
            We need to all get together to combine our resources, as borders close we are moving towards a more local community focus with a focus on essentials
            I’m still looking into my bunker, doing the numbers now on going underneath

          • Yeah well, I reckon all for it. I was just thinking, this will punish all the corporates that raced to the bottom by gutting their local operations and diverting to China for cheap resources and took advantage of their lax environmental, human and animal rights laws. They then extracted the value that would have gone to local workers as profits for the top 1%. That has been abruptly interrupted.
            I wonder if these companies are now finally considering how they divert their supply chains out of China for good with Trump already encouraging it anyway.
            Short term? Well, there’s the pain of inflation we didnt ask for about to smack us in the face, especially in the things we dont need..
            I’ve always tried not to buy those items that say “Grown in Aus, packaged in China or Vietnam or Malaysia”. I would rather just buy something that is just grown and made overseas, e.g. I’d buy olive oil made & packaged in Spain/Italy over olive oil with Aus ingredients but packaged in China or Vietnam or Malaysia… at least Olive oil production is what Spain or Italy’s primary skill is and they do deserve to get paid for it. Frozen seafood is notorious for this, caught in NZ, packaged in Vietnam – seen so many of those that I pass up. How old is the produce if it did a round trip like that?
            The ones that have stayed local might get more expensive or in shorter supply now! RBA must be cheering this forthcoming inflation (not).

        • It is enormous fun. I think I must have a decent dose of grandmas genes;
          – I’ve got a world class collection of preserves books
          – been making lots my current favourites being bread and butter pickles, pickled apples.
          -I picked up a complete fowlers vacola kit , with book,bottles etc from the op shop about a decade ago, for $10. Time to dig it out and see how it all works.
          Am learning to grow veggies, lots of dwarf fruit trees( when I can keep the possums and lorikeets away), got the chickens.
          It is an absolute blast😊

      • I bought more supplies of canned food, pasta, UHT milk etc for my emergency pantry on the weekend. I’ve got enough food, water, med supplies, hygiene products, cleaning products, candles etc to last me and my partner a couple of weeks in total isolation, The problem is that we have 4 children between us. They’re all officially adults, but three of them are still dependents due to studying, and I doubt that any of them are thinking of how to survive a widespread medical emergency or some other disaster.

        I may need a bigger pantry.

        • blindjusticeMEMBER

          I cant stand UHT milk so I got a few oat milks. Not too bad I hope!!
          Its simply prudent and logical to do a little bit of stocking up right now. Even if its just keeping what you normally have after a shop topped up with maybe a little extra.

          Its all stuff you`ll use anyway at some point. UHT/oat milk/almond milk or whatever is ok to use camping if you don’t have a fridge.

          • NSW and QLD state governments both have websites that say the gummint may not be able to help in the event of all sorts of disaster, fire, flood, epidemic etc and that everybody should have stores of food, water, medicine etc to last a few days.

            One of my mates moved to a rural property a few years ago. He messaged me this morning to say he wouldn’t be at work because the causeway he has to cross to get to the main road is a lake about 100m wide and 5m deep. Just the sort of thing one should be prepared for.

          • LSWCHP

            Living in the country is good for your outlook hey.

            We also have 2 approaches to our place both able to be cut off with sustained rain so have spare food, and, gas ring and gas from the camping gear.

            We just recorded 380mm in 48 hrs but the country was so dry (even after January rain) the causeways were no issue for the 4WD.

            My mother lives in fear we might be cut off for a few days.

        • Yeah kids are a pain like that. I could survive on the most minimal without kids dragging me down..

  2. Something is definitely off with the statistics coming out of China. There’s just no way they’d go to all this trouble for a few hundred dead. Thats a bad day in traffic over there…. in one province.
    I reckon the number of undiagnosed or deliberately misdiagnosed (sever pneumonia) deaths must be well into the thousands.

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      Yep. The epidemic modeling Professor from UCL reckons they are only reporting 10% of cases.
      CDC seems to be skeptical too.

    • I agree. There are chinese saying otherwise, plus the sulphur dioxide intensity in various parts of China from burning organiics…like bodies in very large volume. I hear that the infected Chinese who were hospitalised in Melbourne infectious diseases unit are fine, recovered, released. I am concerned, quietly.


    This is of some concern.

    Over the last few days, deaths and number of critical cases outside Hubei have started to increase.
    Today the % of total cases that are serious or critical outside Hubei is not that different to the % within Hubei.

    There will be a progression from diagnosed to serious to critical to death. The fact that new cases outside Hubei spiked last week and now serious / critical appear to be following that rise is of concern.

    And now cases outside China are starting to increase, with 6 serious / critical in Singapore.

    Sort of like a series or ripples spreading across a pond.

    We may be starting to get a clearer picture what this looks like.

    • Singapore is the one to watch.
      It seems to be the only jurisdiction actively looking for cases and being honest about them.

  4. PlanetraderMEMBER

    A doctor friend mentioned this morning that the concern now from the information he has been getting is the incubation time possibly getting out past 14 days – people are now pushing that 14 day envelope and there is some expectation that it will be lengthened as there just hasn’t been sufficient sample size to gauge accurately the correct incubation time. That is quite a big issue (quarantines and lockdowns etc) if for example this were proven to be true and the incubation timeframe stretched even a few days or if they admit they just don’t know.