On February 2nd, China completed building the hospital for coronavirus patients in Wuhan.
The Huoshenshan Hospital was built in 10 days, a total of 1,400 medical staff from the armed forces are tasked with treating patients.
The medics consist of 950 people from hospitals affiliated to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Joint Logistic Support Force, and 450 from medical universities of the army, navy and air force of the PLA who were sent to Wuhan earlier.
As of most recent data, 361 have died and another 17,238 are infected by the coronavirus inside China.
Over 480 people have recovered.
There has been 1 single case of a death as a result from the virus outside of China, in the Philippines – the country had two confirmed cases, with 1 having just passed away. As a result, all entry from non-citizens from China was banned.
The Philippine Health Department said a 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan died from the virus and his companion remained hospitalized.
In total, approximately 150 cases have been confirmed outside of China.
At the same time, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that all travel to and from China would be suspended, following a “handful” of flights needed to bring American citizens back from Hubei province.
“We’re working closely and hand-in-hand with the Chinese government to try and resolve what is now this global epidemiological challenge,” he said.
Pompeo said Washington and Beijing are still coordinating the exact timing of the flights but that the US “anticipates they will happen in the next handful of days.”
In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying condemned the US’ “unfriendly remarks.”
“The Chinese people are making their best efforts to fight against the outbreak. The Chinese government has released information and shared data with the US and the rest of the international community in a timely, transparent and responsible manner. As the saying goes, a friend in need is a friend indeed. Many countries have offered China help and support through various ways. In contrast, the US comments and actions are neither based on facts, nor helpful at this particular time. While the WHO has only just specifically advised against any travel restrictions, the US has decided to act in the opposite way. This has set a bad example. It is certainly not a gesture of goodwill.”
Hong Kong’s main public hospital medical workers union, the Hospital Authority Employee Alliance, began a strike on February 3rd, with approximately 2,400 people taking part, they are calling for the following:
- Stop all travelers from entering Hong Kong from mainland China.
- Implement measures to ensure sufficient supply of face masks.
- Provide isolation wards and stop all non-emergency services.
- Provide sufficient support for health care staff caring for those in isolation.
- Investigate reports of patients escaping hospital in order to ensure a safe environment for all medical staff.
The stock market is also taking a hit, with Chinese stocks going down 8%, which is the worst day in years. The losses on each index have wiped out a combined $445 billion in market value.
The plunge delivered Shanghai its worst day since August 2015’s “Black Monday,” when global markets were rattled by China slowdown fears. Shenzhen, meanwhile, hasn’t recorded a single-day percentage drop this bad since 2007.
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