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just another jocky 28th Jan 2020 11:19


Originally Posted by ORAC (Post 10673463)
Global cases reported - from John Hopkins CSSE. Check the chart on the left which is going expotential....

https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/a...23467b48e9ecf6

Indeed that graph does look bad.

Anyone any thoughts as to countries restricting flights from China or via China? Are we close yet?

ORAC 29th Jan 2020 06:22

BA have announced they are suspending all flights to mainland China with immediate effect until further notice.

KelvinD 29th Jan 2020 06:28

The BA announcement will come as a bit of a blow to the Foreign Office who are still telling UK citizens in Wuhan to get in touch with a view to repatriation flights!

ORAC 29th Jan 2020 06:41

In the meantime, a British Wuhan resident being evacuated told R5L they were told an evacuation flight being arranged for them for tomorrow would arrive at Gatwick airport and they were expected to make their own arrangements to travel home in the UK by public transport and to self-isolate and contact their GP if they developed an6 symptoms......

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ristmas-island


Australian coronavirus evacuees to be quarantined on Christmas Island

https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/29/healt...day/index.html

Hundreds of Americans arrive in Alaska after leaving Chinese epicenter of coronavirus outbreak

CNN)A chartered flight with about 210 Americans aboard arrived in Alaska to refuel on its first US stop since leaving the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in China.......

The flight chartered by the State Department left Wuhan on Wednesday local time, and stopped to in Anchorage, Alaska, according to a live signal from CNN affiliate KTUU. From there, it will head to the March Air Reserve Base near Riverside, California, where it'll arrive early Wednesday.

The flight was originally planned to land at the civilian Ontario International Airport -- about 35 miles from Los Angeles. It's not immediately clear why the itinerary was changed from the civilian airport to a military base. Curt Hagman, a San Bernardino County commissioner who is on the board of the Ontario airport, said they were informed Tuesday night that the plane will not land there.

The passengers will go through a series of screenings during the trip and after they land, officials said. Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will screen them in Anchorage to determine whether they are healthy enough to continue on to California. Passengers who have a cough, fever or shortness of breath in Anchorage will be further assessed by medical experts, according to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

"These individuals will be screened before they take off; monitored during the duration of the flight by medical personnel on board; screened again on landing to refuel in Anchorage, Alaska; monitored on the last leg of the flight by medical personnel on board; evaluated upon arrival at March Air Reserve Base ... and then monitored for symptoms post-arrival," the CDC said.

Before the plane's arrival itinerary was changed to a military airport, an official had told CNN the passengers may be forced to stay in isolation between three days and two weeks. At the time, Hagman said authorities were setting up beds, phone chargers and televisions in an isolated, dormant hangar at Ontario International Airport. It's unclear whether the same procedure will be followed at the military base, which is in a different county......


ORAC 29th Jan 2020 07:35

A pilot wearing a protective suit parks a cargo plane at Wuhan international airport
CHENG MIN/AP
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune....93006f254.jpeg

ATNotts 29th Jan 2020 07:40

The death rate now stands at around 2% of all those reported as infected, and for most the people the virus is apparently quite mild, and can be treated with current medicines. Is this perhaps being blown out of all proportion?

I think back to the swine flu "epidemic" of a few years ago when medication offered to combat the illness (Tamiflu) resulted in people being made worse, through side effects of the product than the flu itself. Sure, the new coronavirus will take the lives of the vulnerable, as do many viral and bacterial infections, but so far reported death toll worldwide represents less than 10% of road deaths in the UK each year, and likely as not, the 6000 reported cases so far will be but the tip of the iceberg, with the majority of victims suffering and recovering at home, without ever seeing a GP or piling up at a hospital.

It strikes me that the hysteria is very much a consequence of the 24 hour news cycle, the internet and social media, all resulting in governments needing to be seen to be "doing something", and that "something" often being unnecessary and ineffective.

ORAC 29th Jan 2020 08:19

Take 2% as the fatality rate and 20% as the critically ill in intensive care (which seems below the current level) and a 60% infection rate (reported as between 60-90%) and map it on the UK population of around 70 million.

One percent is 700,000. So 60% infection gives 420,000 dead; 4.2M needing intensive care (UK currently has around 6000 IC beds in 210 units, already full on a daily basis).

You will already find video as online in Wuhan of swamped hospitals with dead bodies covered with sheets in the corridors amongst the critically ill convulsing on chairs.

So, no, I don’t consider it is being blown out of proportion.

ORAC 29th Jan 2020 09:28

Been told my friend who works for major booking agency that Virgin, American and all the other major airlines flying into China are quietly starting to cancel all their flights.

TWT 29th Jan 2020 11:19

I hope it doesn't mutate into a more virulent strain.

ATNotts 29th Jan 2020 11:37


Originally Posted by ORAC (Post 10674363)
Take 2% as the fatality rate and 20% as the critically ill in intensive care (which seems below the current level) and a 60% infection rate (reported as between 60-90%) and map it on the UK population of around 70 million.

One percent is 700,000. So 60% infection gives 420,000 dead; 4.2M needing intensive care (UK currently has around 6000 IC beds in 210 units, already full on a daily basis).

You will already find video as online in Wuhan of swamped hospitals with dead bodies covered with sheets in the corridors amongst the critically ill convulsing on chairs.

So, no, I don’t consider it is being blown out of proportion.

Assuming your maths and assumptions are correct, then it's more serious than I thought. As for online videos I prefer not to trust anything i see unless it is from trusted sources, and I have seen some grainy stuff on the BBC which frankly didn't look a deal worse that the mayhem that greets people unfortunate enough to need A&E attention (?) on a Friday or Saturday evening - and I have personal experience of that at QMC Nottingham!

ORAC 29th Jan 2020 14:10

Chinese women's national soccer team is being QUARANTINED at an Australian hotel that's been placed in lockdown amid coronavirus fears

The Chinese woman's national soccer team is being quarantined at a Brisbane hotel. The players arrived to Australia at 9am on Wednesday after the Chinese Football Association moved the side's Olympic qualifying matches to Australia when the outbreak started.

The team was in the city of Wuhan on January 22, and will be required to stay at their inner-city hotel until February 5 over fears that members may have the deadly coronavirus. The 32 players, coaches and staff arrived in Brisbane on a flight from Shanghai, but new regulations force them to be isolated.

Queensland health minister Steven Miles confirmed the hotel was in the centre of Brisbane.

New state government requirements demand residents to self-isolate for 14 days from when they left Wuhan, says chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young. ‘Anyone who has been in contact with a confirmed case must self-isolate in their homes,' she said.

Wuhan was the original location for the Group B fixtures in the final round of Asian qualifiers for this year's Olympics. The six group matches also featuring Australia, Thailand and Taiwan were originally relocated to Nanjing and then Sydney after China withdrew as hosts at the weekend.

The Chinese team trained in isolation in Suzhou before departing for Australia. Along with staff, they all underwent testing before departure with none returning a positive. 'They went through all the same checks that any Chinese national flying in from China would have gone through,' FFA chief executive James Johnson said. ‘We're confident in the government's checks and balances.'

The team was scheduled to play against Thailand for the tournament opener at Campbelltown Stadium on Monday......



double_barrel 29th Jan 2020 14:22


Originally Posted by ATNotts (Post 10674321)
The death rate now stands at around 2% of all those reported as infected, and for most the people the virus is apparently quite mild, and can be treated with current medicines. Is this perhaps being blown out of all proportion?

I think back to the swine flu "epidemic" of a few years ago when medication offered to combat the illness (Tamiflu) resulted in people being made worse, through side effects of the product than the flu itself. Sure, the new coronavirus will take the lives of the vulnerable, as do many viral and bacterial infections, but so far reported death toll worldwide represents less than 10% of road deaths in the UK each year, and likely as not, the 6000 reported cases so far will be but the tip of the iceberg, with the majority of victims suffering and recovering at home, without ever seeing a GP or piling up at a hospital.

It strikes me that the hysteria is very much a consequence of the 24 hour news cycle, the internet and social media, all resulting in governments needing to be seen to be "doing something", and that "something" often being unnecessary and ineffective.

The thing is, eventually a virus such as this will cause a global epidemic with very serious consequences. It may or may not be this one, but eventually it will happen.

This nicely fits the predictions for the nature and origin of the virus that will do it. The long asymptomatic period makes it especially dangerous. Minimizing travel is a very sensible move, that was not the case for apparently 'scarier' things like Ebola.

back to Boeing 29th Jan 2020 14:28


Originally Posted by double_barrel (Post 10674613)
The thing is, eventually a virus such as this will cause a global epidemic with very serious consequences. It may or may not be this one, but eventually it will happen.

This nicely fits the predictions for the nature and origin of the virus that will do it. The long asymptomatic period makes it especially dangerous. Minimizing travel is a very sensible move, that was not the case for apparently 'scarier' things like Ebola.

the 2 great “advantages” for humans and the disadvantages for the virus in the case of Ebola are that it kills quickly and is not easily transmissible in the air. The big killer was always going to be an airborne pathogen that doesn’t kill everyone and does so slowly.

Lonewolf_50 29th Jan 2020 14:35

Five cases that I know of the the US, based on last night's news, with the latest one being in Arizona.
Bill Bryson wrote a book some years back about "a brief history of everything" which ended on this immensely happy note: the microbes are going to win in the end.
As to the Chinese public officialdom, and saving face being more important than saving lives, I read through this the other day at the London Review of Books (LRB) blog.
Reminded me of years ago, living in Asia, and learning about the importance of saving face. The author's name appears to have been changed to protect them.

Originally Posted by LRB BLog
Vol. 42 No. 2 · 23 January 2020
DIARY
What really happened in Yancheng?
Long Ling

The​ classroom filled up with a mixture of recent graduates and postgraduates, together with people who wanted to change careers or who had spent the years since graduating preparing for the exam. We sat on small hard chairs and squeezed our legs under the small desks. The people in the high-school classroom were not just my competitors; they might also be my future colleagues. No one knew which of us might be the future director of a large bureau in the ministry, or become a city mayor, and who would remain sitting at a desk in a standard-sized office year after year, or not even get that far. We all had a single goal: to become a civil servant. The proctors passed out the test and started the clock.

A job in the Chinese civil service brings a number of enviable benefits. Civil servants are highly respected. They are allocated apartments at a low price and approached by all manner of people and companies eager to please them. And, as long as they follow the rules, they can’t be dismissed from their posts. Despite the comparatively low salaries, the security and importance of the job attracts about a million applicants a year to the civil service examination.

I was applying for a junior position in the Ministry of Environmental Protection, which is ranked low among the 26 ministries and commissions of the State Council, a reflection of the government’s attitude to environmental issues. Unlike the ministries in charge of mineral assets, listed companies or banking, the Ministry of Environmental Protection has few resources and none of the powers wielded by the Ministries of Public Security or Party Discipline Inspection. Even so there were still more than two hundred applications for six junior positions.

Everyone applying for a job in the civil service sits the same written test. It has two sections: a two-hour ‘administrative occupational ability test’ followed by a three-hour writing and exposition exam. Each accounts for half the total score. The occupational ability test consists of such questions as: ‘There is a well ten metres deep. A frog sits at the bottom of the well and can leap upwards five metres. The walls are slippery and the frog falls back three metres at each leap. How many leaps does it take for the frog to jump out of the well?’

Candidates can improve their scores by practising for some questions, but others resist all preparation. ‘Please replace the question mark with the most suitable image from the four options so as to make them display a certain pattern’:

The correct answers to the ‘common sense’ section cannot be achieved just by using your common sense. It is impossible to guess the correct response. For example:

The essence of life is:
A. An organic combination of proteins, nucleic acids, sugars, lipids, water and inorganic salts
B. A form of material movement
C. Cells
D. A form of neural strength

You might be tempted by A, C or D, particularly if you think this is a question about biology. But the correct answer is B, because the question tests an understanding of the world according to Marxist philosophy. One Marxist doctrine states that the world is material and materials are moving. Life is material and it is moving, therefore life is a form of material movement.

The normative role of the law includes:
A. Guidance, evaluation, punishment, coercion, education
B. Instruction, evaluation, education, prediction, punishment
C. Guidance, education, coercion, encouragement, prediction
D. Guidance, evaluation, prediction, education, coercion

The four options look almost the same. The only way to know the correct answer, D, is to know Chinese Communist Party dogma perfectly. In fact a large portion of ‘common sense’ comes down to party dogma. Confucianism defined common sense for more than a thousand years but the party has determined it since 1949. To succeed in the civil service entrance examination, you have to memorise the answers printed in party documents, school textbooks and training materials.

In China, what is the fundamental way to solve the main social contradictions?
A. Practically strengthen the Chinese Communist Party’s leadership
B. Ensure the dominant role of the public sector in the economy
C. Take the path to reach common richness
D. Vigorously develop social productivity

Many candidates may be tempted to choose A. After all, ‘strengthen the CCP’s leadership’ is the correct answer to most questions. Some candidates may choose C, because Deng Xiaoping said ‘to be a socialist doesn’t mean you have to be poor’. Prosperity for all was the goal of the economic reforms he initiated in the 1980s. But the correct answer is D. After the party successfully completed the socialist transformation in China, the main contradiction in Chinese society was no longer class struggle, but instead the contradiction between the development of social production and the needs of the people. According to Marxist theory, social productivity is the ultimate determinant of social development, so in order to reconcile the contradiction, it is necessary to improve social productivity, and hence the material circumstances of society to meet people’s needs.

The three-hour shen lun exam was in the afternoon. ‘Shen lun’ literally means to expound, discuss and verify. Its origins can be traced back to the imperial examination of the Sui Dynasty (581-619 ad). Confucius’s opinion that ‘a good scholar who studies with relative ease can become an official’ is deeply rooted in the Chinese educated classes. In ancient imperial examinations, candidates were invited to write on political topics and to offer policy suggestions to the court. The best essays were examined by the emperor himself. This procedure is still the basis for selecting administrative officials in Chinese society. The language has changed from Classical Chinese to Mandarin, and the emperor and ministers are now party and personnel officials, but the skills required to get a high score remain the same. A candidate needs to write essays in a particular way in order to show that she can think and write like a normative civil servant.

How do you ensure you score more than your competitors in essay writing? Not by being the most elegant writer, nor the most eloquent, but by demonstrating a command of official style. Outstanding candidates write their essays in neat handwriting. They choose the most appropriate words, they quote from the classics and they express complete loyalty to the party’s Central Committee. The content of what they write is, of course, shaped from the top. It is no exaggeration to say that Xi Jinping’s reports to the Party Congress are the civil servant’s bible. Candidates must be sufficiently familiar with the congressional reports and Xi’s lectures. Key paragraphs must be memorised.

With a high score of 45 in the written exam, I defeated the majority of other applicants and went through to the second round: the interview. The shen lun exam tests whether one can write the official language; the interview tests whether one can also speak it correctly. My interview took place in a large conference room. Nine panellists sat facing me on the other side of a long crimson table. In front of each was a pile of CV folders and an identical white teacup. On my side, all the chairs had been removed except one. I had a piece of A4 paper and a bottle of water.

I was the first candidate that day. A senior official, seated in the centre, read out the rules: ‘There are five questions on the piece of paper in front of you. You have one minute to read a question before you start to answer. You have five minutes to give your answer.’ I read the first question:

In Yancheng, Jiangsu Province, at 2 a.m. on the eighth day of the lunar new year, a rumour emerged that chlorine had leaked from a chemical plant in a nearby industrial park and that the plant would soon explode. As a consequence, more than ten thousand people tried to flee, with severe disruption to local traffic. Four people died in a traffic accident. The local government responded quickly. They refuted the rumour on television and over the internet, and released statements saying that there had been no accident, no explosion nor any leakage of chlorine. At the same time the relevant departments ordered additional inspections of the safety and environmental conditions in industrial parks. They also tracked down the rumour-mongers. Residents returned to their homes the next morning and order was restored to the city. Please comment on this incident.

I remembered reading in the newspaper that something had happened at Yancheng four months ago, but there was no time for reflection. I picked out the key points of the story: ‘chemical plant’, ‘rumours’, ‘local government’s quick response’ and ‘order was restored.’ The way in which the incident was narrated made clear the way the authorities viewed it: there was no accident in the chemical industrial park; instead a malicious rumour caused the exodus. The examiners wanted to test our views on public crisis management. An essential part of the civil service exam syllabus is Mao’s three steps of materialist dialectics: find the problem, analyse the problem, solve the problem. The first step is to point out the nature of the problem and the contradiction it reveals. The second step is to analyse the contradiction and find out who, or what, is responsible. The third step involves proposing policy recommendations.

I began my answer this way: ‘This incident concerns panic in a community brought about by rumours of a leak and possible explosion at a chemical plant. The panic caused deaths, affected social stability, and must be taken seriously by the relevant departments.’ I looked at the faces opposite me. Their expressions were steady, showing no signs of surprise. I continued:

First, the spread of the rumour shows that the official information channel in Yancheng was not effective. This was partly why a rumour could spread rapidly and get out of control within a couple of hours. Second, people were so frightened that they fled the area, even though there was no evidence of a leak. This reveals people’s mistrust and fear of the chemical plant. Third, the local government’s response was fairly rapid and effective after the incident. Although ten thousand residents fled, government officials persuaded them to return home the next day. The situation was quickly brought under control, avoiding a worsening of social instability.

My analysis leads me to propose that the local government adopt the following policy. First, improve communication with the local community by holding press conferences and releasing regular reports about the state of the major industrial parks. Second, strengthen the environmental supervision of chemical industrial parks, reinforce the management and inspection of pollutants and chemical production, and punish the plants that are not in compliance with regulations. Third, establish a rapid response mechanism for emergencies in the city to ensure that there is no delay in reporting and reacting to a crisis. All departments must co-operate to prevent such incidents from happening again.

The civil service admission list was revealed the next day. I was on it.

But​ what really happened in Yancheng?
he question has lingered in my mind in the eight years since my interview. From the perspective of the civil service, the policies I proposed were correct, otherwise I wouldn’t have been offered the job. But I don’t fully believe the official news, or the local government’s statement, just as I don’t fully believe my own answer. Was the rumour that made families flee at 2 a.m. really just a rumour? Did the government really inspect the factories and industrial parks as they claimed? Nothing about that had appeared in the media. All the reporting was identical.

I looked into the background of the Yancheng industrial park. It had a bad record: two months before the incident there had been a chlorine leak, which poisoned more than thirty people. Three years earlier an explosion had killed eight people and injured many more. A village of four hundred people stood next to the site, separated by a road. The nearest chemical plant was only 250 metres away from the houses. According to government statements after the incident, local police had detained two suspects accused of ‘fabricating and deliberately spreading false news’. The family of the people who died in the traffic accident was compensated.

Then, on 21 March last year, an explosion shook Yancheng’s industrial park. Images of giant spiralling flames and a dark grey mushroom cloud quickly spread on local news and social media. Only a few casualties were reported at first, but the number gradually increased throughout the day. Four days later, the official figure gave 78 dead and 566 wounded. A large proportion of the wounded were people who lived in the vicinity of the factory. The explosion damaged doors and windows at ten schools. At a nursery a kilometre from the explosion site and at a primary school almost three kilometres away, children were injured by broken glass as their classroom windows imploded.

The number of casualties meant the accident received national attention. Even the Central Committee and the State Council got involved. Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang gave speeches. Two days after the explosion, the State Council established the Serious Explosion Accident Investigation Team, led by the minister of the newly established Department of Emergency Management, whose mission is to guide ‘ministries in all regions responding to emergencies’. Relevant parties rushed to the scene. The official response was completely in line with the views that I had expressed during my interview. The government’s priority was to show how active and responsive it was. They spoke the official language. But what was the real number of casualties? Why were those industrial parks still running after years of poor safety?

News about the explosion soon died down. It was said that the public security bureau took measures against those who ran the industrial park. Later on, the park was closed. Whether the closure is temporary or permanent isn’t clear. In my mind I can see the hundreds of civil servants in related departments who worked hard to manage the crisis. They did it skilfully and to the appropriate standards. I think those on the front line must have sympathised with the people affected by the disaster, and considered themselves lucky not to live near hazardous industrial parks. I believe they must have done as well as I did in the civil service examination. It is unfortunate that the accident they dealt with wasn’t just a ‘rumour’.

Long Ling is a government official in Beijing and a member of the Chinese Communist Party.
Jonathan Flint is her translator.


NutLoose 29th Jan 2020 17:21

I see they are also converting an empty office block to a 1000 bed hospital, also some villages have been barricading themselves off from the rest of the world, as I said they don't mess around.

SpringHeeledJack 29th Jan 2020 21:14

I'm curious as to how all the affected aircraft are being cleaned. Obviously there are HAZMAT teams all over the world who have the skills and equipment to deal with isolated incidences, but at present the number of 'tainted' aircraft must be pretty large. Bit of Febreeze and we're good to go ?

Loose rivets 29th Jan 2020 22:53

I responded on R&N after reading a good post from OldnGrounded. I think this thread is a bit more technical and so I'll post a link. Mine just backs up Old's post but has a few points I've felt strongly about for years. So many infections are avoidable but a virus is an astonishing evolutionary mechanism. Seeing how they're attacked in the brain is unsettling. It makes you wonder just who is orchestrating our development. Treatment, mentioned above. Well, there's our immune system, and Interferon which boosts our immune system. What else? Nowt, as far as I know.

Looking at this, there is hope. It's only the beginning and not very powerful, but we will win eventually.


"Everyday health."

How do antivirals help? "Antivirals help fight the flu by binding to an enzyme in the virus so the infectious parts of the virus, called virions, cannot be released,” explained Carol Baker, MD, executive director of the Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and a professor of pediatrics, molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine. By doing this, antivirals stop the flu virus from multiplying and spreading throughout the body, she said.
Sir Fred Hoyle had a lot to say about viruses.

https://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/...l#post10674953

Pretty decent photos (the first) of the virus. 100nm scale at bottom.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7934091/Microscopic-images-capture-strains-new-coronavirus-extracted-patients.html


.

NutLoose 29th Jan 2020 23:06

It would appear we have empty hospitals, the staff are the issue

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/s...ghost-20064715

Loose rivets 30th Jan 2020 02:36

I was drawn again to post rather more on the R&N parallel thread. But this I'd like to post again: a different era, a different virus, but millions died. Please let me post again one very brave lady, staring out of a sepia print, she died just months before my grandfather - who'd survived Flanders.

https://heatonhistorygroup.org/2016/...gg-remembered/

Same battle but this time we're really fighting back.

BTW, Isaac Newton isolated himself during the plague. He knew very well what to do, and was fortunate enough to have a home in an isolated place.

ORAC 30th Jan 2020 07:13



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